Skip to main content

Full text of "Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal"

See other formats




$■ k k 6'. 










Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh ; Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy ; of the 
Royal Society of Sciences of Denmark ; of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin ; of the Royal Academy o f 
Naples ; of the Geological Society of France; Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta ; Fellow of 
the Royal Linnean, and of the Geological Societies of London ; of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, and 
of the Cambridge Philosophical Society ; of the Antiquarian, Wernerian Natural History, Royal Medical, Royal 
Physieal, and Horticultural Societies of Edinburgh ; of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland ; of 
the Antiquarian and Literary Society of Ferth ; of the Statistical Society of Glasgow ; of the Royal Dublin 
Society; of the York, Bristol, Cambrian, Whitby, Northern, and Cork Institutions; of the Natural History So- 
ciety of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle ; of the Imperial Pharmaceutical Society of Petersburgh ; of 
the Natural History Society of Wetterau ; of the Mineralogical Society of Jena ; of the Royal Mineralogical So- 
ciety of Dresden ; of the Natural History Society of Paris ; of the Philomathic Society of Paris ; of the Natural 
History Society of Calvados ; of the Senkenberg Society of Natural History ; of the Society of Natural Science* 
and Medicine of Heidelberg ; Honorary Member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York ; of 
the New York Historical Society ; of the American Antiquarian Society ; of the Academy of Natural Sciences of 
Philadelphia ; of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York ; of the Natural History Society of Montreal ; of 
the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanical Arts ; of the Geological 
Society of Pennsylvania ; of the Boston Society of Natural History of the United States ; of the South African 
Institution of the Cape of Good Hope ; Honorary Member of the Statistical Society of France ; Member of the 
Entomological Society of Stettin, &c. &c. &c. 

OCTOBER 1852 APRIL 1853. 









Art. I. Biography of Berzelius. By Professor H. Rose 

of Berlin. (Concluded from vol. liii., p. 221), 1 

II. Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. — Laterite For- 
mation. — Fluviatile Deposit of Nuera Ellia. 
By E. F. Kelaart, M.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., As- 
sistant Surgeon to the Forces. Communicated 
by the Author, . . . . .28 

III. On the Condition and Prospects of the Aborigines 

of Australia. By W. Westgarth, Esq. (Con- 
cluded from vol. liii., p. 241), 

9. Past and Present' Methods, and Proposed Plans 

for the Welfare of the Aborigines, . 36 

10. Prospects of Aboriginal Civilisation, . 41 

11. General Review, . . . . . 42 

IV. Synopsis of Meteorological Observations made at 

the Observatory, Whitehaven, Cumberland, in 
the year 1851. By John Fletcher Miller, 
Esq., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., Assoc. Inst. C.E., &c. 
Communicated by the Author, ... 46 

V. On the Basin-like Form of Africa. By Sir R. I. 
Murchison, late President of the Geographical 
Society, . . . . . .52 

VI. Solidification of the Rocks of the Florida Beefs, 

and the Sources of Lime in the Growth of 
Corals. By Professor Horsford, of Harvard, 56 

VII. Observations on a remarkable Deposit of Tin-Ore 

at the Providence Mines, near St Ives, Corn- 
wall. By William Jory Henwood, Esq., 
F.R.S.,F.G.S., Member of the Geological So- 



ciety of France, &c. Communicated by the 
Author, 68 

VIII. Arctic Natural History, 

1. Cause of Intense Thirst in Arctic Regions, 72 

2. Thickness of the Ice, . . . . 73 

3. Warmth of Snow-Burrows, . . . 74 

4. Snow a had conductor of Sound, . . 74 

5. The Breaking up of an Iceberg, . . 75 

6. Refrigerating power of Icebergs, . . 75 

7. The Droppings of Eider Ducks, . . 76 

8. Arctic Minute Animal and Vegetable Forms and 

Colour of the Sea, .... 76 

9. On the Flesh of little Auks or Rotges and Sea- 

Fowl generally, ... . 78 

10. Red Snow, 79 

11. On the Colouring Matter of Marine Algae. By 

Dr Dickie, 79 

12. Nostoc Arcticum (Berk). By Dr Dickie, 81 

13. On the Magnitude of Arctic Glaciers — and their 

advance towards and termination in the Sea, 82 

14. Ice and Sea- Water Coloured by the Diatomaceae, 82 

IX. On an Improvement in Sikes' Self-Registering 
Thermometer. By Richard Adie, Esq., Li- 
verpool. Communicated by the Author. (With 
a Plate), 84 

X. Memoir of the late Dr Thomas Thomson, F.R.S., 
M.W.S., &c, Professor of Chemistry in the 
College of Glasgow. Communicated by his re- 
lative, Dr R. Dundas Thomson, . . 86 

XI. On the Reconcentration of the Mechanical Energy 
of the Universe. By William John Mac- 
quorn Rankine, C.E., F.R.S.E., . . 98 

XII. The Classification of Insects from Embryological 

Data. By Professor Agassiz, . . .101 

XIII. Humboldt, one of the first Philosophers who de- 
livered Popular Courses of Lectures on Science 
to the People, 110 

XIV. Professor Oken, the originator of the now Popu- 
lar Assemblies for the Advancement of Science, 112 



XV. The Earl of Rosse's Telescopes, and their Reve- 
lations in the Sidereal Heavens. By the Rev. 
Dr Scoresby, F.R.S.L. & E., Member of the 
Wernerian Society, and Corresponding Mem- 
ber of the Institute of France, &c. Communi- 
cated by the Author, . . . .113 

XVI. Of the Proper Application of Reservoirs to the 
Improvement of Rivers. By Charles Ellet, 
Jun., Civil Engineer, United States of Ame- 
rica, . . . . . . .118 

XVII. Notices of various Animal Remains, as Bos lon- 
gifrons, fyc, found with Roman Pottery, near 
Newstead, Roxburghshire : with Notes in re- 
ference to the Origin of our Domestic Cattle, 
and the Wild White Cattle of this Country. 
By John Alexander Smith, M.D. Commu- 
nicated by the Author. (With a Plate), . 122 

XVIII. General Results of the Microscopical Examina- 
tion of Soundings, made by the U. S. Coast 
Survey off the Atlantic Coast of the United 
States. By Professor J. W. Bailey, of the 
Military Academy, West Point, . .142 

XIX. The Reply of the President and Council of the 
Royal Society, to a Letter addressed to them 
by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
on the subject of the co-operation of different 
Nations in Meteorological Observations, . 144 

XX. On the Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle, 
and on Aurorse Boreales. By Auguste de la 
Rive ; being an extract from a Letter to M. 
Arago, 148 

XXI. Meteorological Phenomena in connection with the 
Climate of Berlin. Translated by Mrs Anne 
Ramsden Bennett from the German of Pro- 
fessor Dove, . . . . . .155 



XXII. Gieseckite and Bergmannite (Spreustein), two 
Pseudomorphoses of Transformation from Ne- 
pheline. By Professor J. R. Blum, of Hei- 
delberg. Communicated by the Author (from 
Poggendorff), 162 

XXIII. On the Colours of a Jet of Steam and of the At- 

mosphere. By B. Clausius, . . .166 

XXIV. Description of the Tongue and Habits of the Aard- 

vark or Ant-eater of the Cape (Orycteropus 
Capensis). By William T. Black, Assistant- 
Surgeon to the Forces, South Africa. Com- 
municated by the Author, . . .168 

XXV. On the Negroes of the Indian Archipelago and 

Pacific Islands. By W. John Crawfurd, Esq., 
F.B.S., 175 

XXVI. Scientific Intelligence : — 


1. Analyses of Snow and Rain Water, by M. Eu- 
gene Marchand. 2. Notes on the Climate of 
Rangoon, by Dr A. Christison. 3. On the Re- 
cent Earthquake felt at Adderley, . 179-180 


4. Pseudomorphous Minerals. 5. Large Deposit 
of Graphite. 6. Sulphur Mine in Upper Egypt. 
7. Strontiano-calcite. 8. Platinum and Iridos- 
mine in California. 9. Identity of Donarium 
with Thorium. 10. Native Iron. 11. Crystal- 
lisation and Amorphism, . . . 1*81—183 


12. Flora of the Tertiary Formation. 13. On the 
Tides, Bed, and Coasts of the North Sea or Ger- 
man Ocean, 183-186 

14. On the Bones and Eggs of a Gigantic Bird in 

Madagascar. 15. Domestication of Fishes, 186—188 


16. Freedom of the Arabs from Leprosy. 17. Obi- 
tuary, ■ 188 



Art. I. Biographical Account of the late William Macgilli- 
vray, A.M., LL.D., Regius Professor of Natural 
History in the Marischal College and University 
of Aberdeen. Communicated by Alexander 
Thomson, Esq. of Banchory, Aberdeen, . 189 

II. Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron, and the 
effect that results from it upon the direction of 
the Compasses in Vessels, . . . 206 

III. Meteorological Phenomena in connection with the 
Climate of Berlin. Translated by Mrs Anne 
Ramsden Bennett, from the German of Professor 
Dove. (Continued from page 162,) . 214 

IV. On the Glacial Phenomena in Scotland and Parts of 
England. By Robert Chambers, Esq., F.R.S.E. 
Communicated by the Author, . . 229 



V. Meteorological Observations taken at the Ordnance 
Survey Office, 13 Royal Circus, Edinburgh, dur- 
ing the Year 1852, 130 feet above the mean 
level of the Sea. Communicated by Captain 
James, Royal Engineers, . . . 282 

VI. On the Valuation of Indigo. By Dr Frederick 
Penny, F.C.S., Professor of Chemistry in the 
Andersonian University, Glasgow, . . 285 

VII. On the Origin of Stratification. By D. A. Wells, 
Esq., of Cambridge, United States, North Ame- 
rica, . . . . .291 

VIII. Relation of the Chemical Constitution of Bodies to 
Light. By Professor E. N. Horsford of Har- 
vard, North America, . . . 294 

IX. Notes on the Distribution of Animals available as 
Food in the Arctic Regions. By Augustus Pe- 
termann, Esq., F.R.GS., &c, . . 295 

X. The Effect of Heat on the Perpendicularity of Bunker 
Hill Monument. By Professor E. N. Horsford, 
of Harvard, North America, . . . 308 

XI. On the Geological Distribution of Marine Animals. By 

Professor Edward Forbes, . . .311 

XII. On the Change of Temperature in Europe, and the 
Variation of the Magnetic Needle. By Mr G. A. 
Rowell. With a Map. Communicated by the 
Author, . . . . .312 

XIII. The Para^enetic Relations of Minerals, . .323 



XIV. Some Remarks on the probable Present Condition of 
the Planets Jupiter and Saturn, in reference to 
Temperature, &c. By James Nasmyth, Esq., 341 

XV. Captain H. Denham, F.R.S., on Deep Sea Soundings 

obtained in lat. 36° 49' S., long. 37° 6' W., . 346 

XVI. Critical Remarks on Astronomical Observations made 
with Airy's Zenith Sector, from 1842 to 1850, 
in the determination of the Latitudes of various 
Trigonometrical Stations used in the Ordnance 
Survey of the British Isles. Published by order 
of the Master-General and Board of Ordnance, 
under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis 
A. Hall, Royal Engineers, Superintendent of 
the Ordnance Survey, . . .350 

XVII. Notes on the Scales of the Government Survey of 

Scotland, ..... 362 

XVIII. On a Quartziferous variety of Trachyte, found in 
Iceland. By Theodor Kjerulf, of Christiania. 
Communicated for the Edinburgh New Philoso- 
phical Journal, .... 367 

XIX. Biography of the celebrated Naturalist, Baron Leo- 
pold von Buch. Communicated for the Philo- 
sophical Journal, .... 373 

XX. Register of the Weather and Climate of Rangoon for 

September 1852, .... 377 

XXI. On the Reduction in the Height of Waves after pass- 
ing into Harbours. In a Letter to Professor 
Jameson by Thomas Stevenson, Esq., Civil En- 
gineer. . 378 




XXII. Scientific Intelligence : — 


1. Extent of Glaciers in the Polar Regions. 2. Sir 
Walter C. Trevelyan on the Faroe Islands. In a 
Letter to Professor Jameson, . 379, 380 


3. Numerical List of Species of the Animal King- 
dom. 4. Dr Hamilton on the Guano Birds of 
the Lobos Islands. 5. The Cod Fish of the 
Whale Fish Islands. 6. Electricity applied to 
the Capture of Whales. 7. Preservation of 

Eggs, .... 380, 382 

8. The Genus Nostoc. 9. Preservation of Vege- 
tables, . . . -383 




Biography of Berzelius. By Professor H. ROSE of Berlin. 

(Concluded from vol. liii., page 221.) 

Berzelius criticised this argument with justice. He de- 
clared that it seemed to him the same as if a man who is 
stumbling in the dark, should hesitate to make use of a light, 
because he would then see more than he required, and be- 
cause he hoped to find his way without it. 

In order to appreciate fully the great merit of Berzelius, 
in putting forward his mineral system, it is only necessary to 
call to mind how great was the chaos in mineralogy before 
his time, and especially with regard to the classification of 
the numerous compounds of silica. Although both Dobereiner 
and Smithson commenced to regard silica as an acid, at about 
the same time as Berzelius, still it was he who first made an 
extended application of this view, in the new mineral system 
which he proposed, by means of which siliceous minerals were 
included under the head of saline compounds, and the correct 
conception of their composition first rendered possible. 

The greater number of natural compounds of silica are 
double salts ; and observing the great diversity among them, 
Berzelius raised the question, as to whether it was probable 
that the individual members of such double salts were 
different stages of saturation. As he had previously assumed 
only the most simple relations in chemical compounds, he 
was at first led to infer upon theoretical grounds, that the 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVI1. — JANUARY 1853. A 

2 Biography of Berzelius. 

existence of dissimilar stages of saturation in the double salts 
of silica, was less probable, especially as he had never met 
with any similar phenomena in his investigations of the 
double salts of other acids. Nevertheless, he subsequently 
altered this view, after he had himself first prepared the re- 
markable double salt of neutral carbonate of magnesia and 
bicarbonate of potash. 

The salts of silicic acid, and indeed all true compounds oc- 
curring in natural as well as artificially prepared salts, re- 
ceived formulae which expressed their composition. But as 
Berzelius was long doubtful how many atoms of oxygen he 
should assume in silica, and even when he afterwards decided 
for three atoms, did not regard this assumption as perfectly 
certain, he introduced more simple formulae for siliceous com- 
pounds, which he termed mineralogical, and distinguished 
from the chemical formulae by the printers' type employed. 

The establishment of correct formulae, especially for sili- 
ceous compounds, involved great difficulties since the composi- 
tion of very few minerals was known with any degree of cer- 
tainty. The first quantitative analyses of minerals were made 
by Torbern Bergman, but according to such imperfect methods 
that they scarcely indicated anything more than the qualita- 
tive composition. After these came the analyses of Klaproth, 
which compared with those of Bergman were a considerable 
and encouraging advance, for he had not only employed 
better methods of investigation, but also worked with much 
greater accuracy. But even the analyses of Klaproth as well 
as those of Vauquelin and others, who worked simultaneously 
with him, when put to the test of definite chemical propor- 
tions were not found to be unquestionable. It is true that 
at first Berzelius could very often only propose a conjectural 
formula for the composition of many minerals, and generally 
only when he made some slight alterations in the results of 
the then known analyses, in doing which, however, he always 
proceeded with great caution. Afterwards these incorrect 
analyses were replaced by correct ones, and indeed especially 
by Berzelius himself and his pupils, who employed in their 
analyses the most accurate methods proposed by him. 

Berzelius first arranged minerals according to their electro- 

Biography of Berzelius. 3 

positive constituents. But after Mitscherlich's discovery of 
isomorphism, which has exerted so important an influence 
upon the arrangement of the system, he considered it more ad- 
vantageous to classify minerals according to their electro-ne- 
gative constituents, because the substitution of isomorphous 
substances is far more frequent among the bases than among 
the acids ; and therefore the classification according to the 
electro-negative constituents corresponded more with the 
requirements of mineralogists. Both methods have their 
advantages ; they are equally philosophical, and may be em- 
ployed with equal justice ; it is therefore a great injustice that 
Berzelius should have been charged with inconsistency in 
making this alteration. 

The mineral system of Berzelius is not even yet completed. 
He was far from wishing to affirm that it was incapable of 
improvement, on the other hand, during his whole after-life 
he continually improved it, and from time to time published 
it in a more perfect form. The last edition was superin- 
tended by Kammelsberg in 1847 at the request of Berzelius. 

The most important modifications still to be made on this 
system, are perhaps those which would result from a more 
simple application of the doctrine of isomorphism. It is cer- 
tainly difficult to harmonize the opinions as to how this ought 
to be done. 

Berzelius was not quite right in affirming that it is the 
constituents of a substance alone which must determine 
its place in a system. Even in the last " Jahresberichte" 
published by him, he declares that, in a mineral system, the 
sole question for consideration is the elements and their 
inorganic combinations, and that it is these which must be 
systematically arranged. But he himself directs attention 
to the difficulties which this view necessarily involves. Is 
it, he asks, admissible to make one species of diamond and 
graphite, or of rutile, Brookite, and anatase, or of calcareous 
spar and arragonite ? It is scarcely to be expected that mi- 
neralogists will give their consent to such a course. 

However, Berzelius decides in the affirmative. Still I am 

of opinion that there are even many chemists who will not 

unconditionally agree with him in this. For it is not alone 


4 Biography of Berzelius. 

from the constituents that all the characteristic properties 
of the compound result, but also from the mode and action of 
their combination, which is frequently indicated by the form. 
Taking all this into consideration, it appears probable that 
dolomite is more closely related to calcareous spar than 
arragonite, and even that tinstone is nearer to rutile than 
anatase and Brookite. 

Since the external characters of minerals are determined, 
as well by their constituents as by the mode in which these 
are combined with each other, it follows that that chemical 
system of mineralogy which approaches most closely to the 
natural systems, or which even corresponds with them, must 
be the most perfect. 

Some time after the appearance of the mineral system, 
Berzelius published his work " Ueber die Auwendung des 
Lothrohrs in der Chemie und Mineralogies He had, in 
Fahlun, under the guidance of his older friend Gahn, a pupil 
of Torbern Bergman, acquired an uncommon dexterity in the 
use of the blow-pipe, enriched this special part of chemistry 
with a number of original investigations, and brought it to a 
high degree of perfection. In the above-mentioned work he 
makes known everything connected with the subject, as well 
what he learned from Gahn as what he had himself dis- 

It is rarely that a work has been welcomed by chemists as 
this was ; but it is also seldom possible at once to recognise 
the practical value of a work, as in the case of this. It was 
immediately translated into most European languages ; and 
in some, especially the German, passed through several edi- 
tions. Everywhere it met with merited appreciation ; and 
Mr Children alone, the editor of the English edition, allowed 
himself to add remarks as superfluous as ill-natured. 

Besides the behaviour of the most important chemical 
compounds, all metallic oxides, acids, and their salts, sul- 
phurets, &c, before the blow-pipe, Berzelius described the 
behaviour of all minerals which he could obtain, and which 
were so much the more readily placed at his disposal, as he 
required only very small quantities for these experiments. 
He entered upon this investigation with untiring industry, 

Biography of Berzelius. 5 

and was thus able to furnish even those mineralogists who 
but unwillingly admitted the influence of chemistry upon 
mineralogy, with an extremely welcome gift, since, by simple 
blow-pipe experiments, it was possible to distinguish minerals 
with ease and certainty, especially among siliceous com- 
pounds, which were with difficulty, or only ambiguously, 
recognisable by means of their external characters. 

This work bore so manifestly the stamp of perfection, even 
on its first appearance, that, with the exception of Plattner, 
in Freiberg, no one has contributed any essential additions 
or improvements to blow-pipe investigations ; and it is quite 
as indispensable to the chemist and mineralogist at the pre- 
sent day as it was thirty years ago. 

About this time, Berzelius discovered selenium,, and 
was engaged upon the admirable investigation of this ele- 
ment. Never was there an examination so accurate and tho- 
roughly exhaustive, of an interesting and hitherto unknown 
element, comprising all its characters and remarkable com- 
binations, so that, if we except the discovery of selenic acid 
by Mitscherlich, which escaped Berzelius, nothing essentially 
new was added to our knowledge of this element during the 
next thirty years. Our astonishment at this must be raised, 
when it is recollected that all these investigations were car- 
ried on with a very small quantity of material, only about 
an ounce of selenium, of which quantity a part was lost, 
owing to the carelessness of a servant. 

This paper upon selenium can only be compared with that 
by Gay-Lussac upon iodine, which appeared several years 
before, and has yielded, in so many respects, such valuable 
results. It must, nevertheless, be remarked, that Gay- 
Lussac was not the discoverer of iodine, and did not under- 
take the investigation until after the first chemist of that 
time, Davy, had almost established the true nature of io- 
dine ; and that he had large quantities of material at his 

Almost at the same time that Berzelius was engaged in 
the examination of the compounds of selenium, Arfvedson 
occupied himself in his laboratory with the analysis of some 
Swedish minerals ; and under the guidance of Berzelius, sue- 

6 Biography of Berzelius. 

ceeded in discovering lithium, which, as it came so unex- 
pectedly, justly created great interest. 

The following larger papers of Berzelius form, as it were, 
a series of monographs upon separate and important branches 
of chemistry, which were at that time still obscure. It was 
natural, that when he commenced the demonstration of the 
law of definite proportions by means of a succession of labo- 
rious investigations, that he must throw aside much, in order 
to sketch the groundwork of his system. The investiga- 
tions which he now undertook, were all instituted in accord- 
ance with a matured plan, and he had long meditated upon 
them before actually entering upon them. 

The first of these investigations was upon the ferruginous 
cyanogen compounds. Gay-Lussac had, in his very import- 
ant paper upon cyanogen, neglected to study these com- 
pounds. After him several chemists had occupied themselves 
with their examination, but all obtained very different results, 
the greater number, however, assuming that the iron in the 
so-called ferro-prussic acid salts was an essential constituent 
of the acid which was combined in the salts with an oxidized 

Berzelius, however, shewed that these salts contained 
neither prussic acid nor oxidized bases, but that they con- 
sist of cyanide of iron combined with the cyanide of an alka- 
line metal, and consequently were double cyanides. He also 
extended his investigations to the so-called sulpho-cyanic 
acid salts, and shewed that they consist of metal, sulphur, 
and cyanogen, the latter two united to form a radical (which 
he subsequently called Ehodan) ; and that in them likewise 
there was neither prussic acid nor oxidized bases. 

These investigations, which fully confirmed the views of 
Gay-Lussac regarding cyanogen, were, however, of still 
greater importance to Berzelius in another respect. After 
Davy had been induced, by his researches in 1810, to con- 
sider that it was simpler and more correct to look upon 
chlorine as elementary, and not, as he had formerly done, as 
a compound of oxygen with a radical that had not been iso- 
lated ; most chemists concurred with him in this view. Gay- 
Lussac and Thenard, who, even before Davy, considered a 

Biography of Berzelius. 7 

similar view possibly correct, although not exactly more pro- 
bable than the old one, after the discovery of iodine, openly 
declared themselves, with Vauquelin and all the other French 
chemists, in favour of the new doctrine ; and the famous 
paper of Gay-Lussac upon iodine, which appeared in 1813, 
is written in this spirit. 

Berzelius alone, who from the first had disputed the hypo- 
thesis of Davy, continued to defend the old doctrine, even 
after the discovery of iodine. He did this especially in a 
paper which first appeared in Gilbert's Annalen for 1815. He 
there endeavoured, with a profound sagacity which cannot 
but be highly admired by every one, even on reading the paper 
after the lapse of so long a time, to prove the truth of the 
doctrine of the compound nature of chlorine. He directed 
attention to the remarkable phenomenon that the constitu- 
ents of chloride of nitrogen, which are united only by a very 
feeble affinity, separate with such an energetic evolution of 
heat as is never observed except in chemical combinations. 
But above all, he pointed out the analogy which existed be- 
tween muriates, which, according to the new theory, in the 
anhydrous state contain no oxygen, and the sulphates, phos- 
phates, and other salts, which are indisputably compounds of 
oxygen acids with oxygen bases, and in which the presence 
of oxygen may be readily detected. 

The great authority of Berzelius, and the soundness with 
which he carried out his refutation of all the evidence brought 
forward in favour of the new theory, were the reasons why 
many chemists, especially in Germany, did not adopt Davy^s 
view of the nature of chlorine. 

The immediate cause of Berzelius undertaking the inves- 
tigation of the cyanides of iron was evident, viz., he expected 
to find in them a more compound radical (united with oxy- 
gen forming an acid) associated with an oxygen base, and 
similar to that which he assumed to exist in muriates. It 
cannot be disputed that to some extent he doubted the ac- 
curacy of Gay-Lussac' s experiments on cyanogen. Then, 
as the salts of the ferrocyanic radicals resemble so closely in 
their characters the ordinary oxygenous salts, and especially 
as several metallic cyanides, such as cyanide of mercury 

8 Biography of Berzelius. 

or silver, correspond so completely with the analogous chlo- 
rine compounds, he was of opinion that if he could by this 
investigation detect oxygen in the ferrocyanic compounds, it 
would be a strong proof of its presence in muriates likewise, 
and, consequently, evidence in favour of the old theory of the 
nature of chlorine. 

However, the result of these investigations was the oppo- 
site of that which he expected, and thus the main argument 
against the new doctrine of the nature of chlorine fell to the 
ground. When gradually other reasons for the greater pro- 
bability of the new theory were discovered, Berzelius adopted 
it with the most amiable candour, and relinquished the old 
theory which he had so long and so ably defended. 

One, among other, of these reasons was, as I know, the fol- 
lowing : — Immediately after Berzelius' investigations on the 
cyanides of iron, Leopold Gmelin obtained the interesting red 
double salt of cyanide of potassium and cyanide of iron, which 
is anhydrous and contains no oxygen. The red colour of the 
peroxide of iron, which is more or less communicated to all 
its salts except the neutral ones, was to Berzelius an addi- 
tional reason for regarding the red perchloride of iron as an 
actual salt with an oxygenous base ; and, as in the salt 
obtained by Gmelin. notwithstanding its red colour, the iron 
was not in the state of oxide, but directly combined with 
cyanogen, one double atom of iron with three double atoms 
of cyanogen, Berzelius saw that it was probable that the red 
colour of iron compounds was not owing alone to the pre- 
sence in them of peroxide, but was also common to those in 
which one double atom of iron is combined with three double 
atoms of chlorine or cyanogen. 

Another main inducement to adopt the new theory of the 
nature of chlorine, consisted in the results which he derived 
in favour of it from his subsequent comprehensive researches 
upon alkaline sulphurets. According to Berthollet's inves- 
tigations, these bodies were regarded as combinations of sul- 
phur with alkalies until Vauquelin put forward the opinion, 
that when a fixed alkali was melted with sulphur, a part of 
the alkali was reduced to the metallic state, sulphuric acid 
was formed, and a mixture of alkaline sulphate and sulphu- 

Biography of Berzelius. 9 

retted metal was obtained. This which Vauquelin was only 
able to put forward conjecturally, and could not demonstrate 
by convincing proofs, was immediately proved most satisfac- 
torily by Berzelius through his successful reduction of sul- 
phate of potash by means of hydrogen or the vapour of the 
sulphuret of carbon. He thus obtained sulphuret of potas- 
sium in which there could not be any oxygen. By treating 
anhydrous lime with sulphuretted hydrogen at a high tem- 
perature, Berzelius likewise obtained water and sulphuret of 
calcium. This experiment rendered it obvious that when 
liver of sulphur is obtained by melting together sulphur and 
carbonate of potash, the solution in water contains sulphuric 
acid, which is not, as Berthollet conjectured, first formed by 
the decomposition of water, but is a joint product with the 
liver of sulphur of the reduction of the alkali. Berzelius 
found, moreover, that the alkaline metals combine in several 
definite proportions with sulphur forming substances which 
are all soluble in water. Thus arose the question : What is 
contained in such a solution ? — a question, the answer to 
"which is especially important when regarded in connection 
with the solutions of metallic chlorides. Is this liquid a solu- 
tion of the unaltered sulphuret in water, or is the alkaline 
metal oxidized, and, consequently, a compound of sulphuret- 
ted hydrogen with alkali formed, or a compound of sulphu- 
retted hydrogen, sulphur, and alkali \ Since, in the last 
case, it would be necessary to assume as many compounds of 
sulphur with hydrogen as there are compounds of sulphur with 
the alkaline metals, Berzelius decided in favour of the second 
view. Subsequent investigations of the solution of sulphur 
compounds of the metals of alkaline earths in water, have, 
in fact, shewn that a decomposition of water really does take 
place in this case, and that a compound of metallic sulphuret 
with sulphuretted hydrogen and alkaline oxide is formed. 

Berzelius regarded these investigations as proving that sul- 
phur compounds exist which are very analogous to the mu- 
riates, and that there might likewise be bodies which, with- 
out containing an acid and an oxygenous base, possess, like 
the chlorides, all the peculiar characters of salts ; and, con- 
sequently, if this were so, all that evidence against the new 

10 Biography of Berzelius. 

theory of chlorine fell to the ground which he had derived 
from the perfect analogy of muriates with salts, which con- 
sist of an oxygen acid and an oxygenous base. 

With this investigation of alkaline sulphurets was con- 
nected the equally important one upon the sulphur salts, 
which, however, did not appear until several years afterwards. 

In the former paper Berzelius had directed attention 
to the fact, that the sulphur compounds of alkaline me- 
tals and of earthy metals combine with other metallic sul- 
phurets in the same way as the oxides of these metals com- 
bine with other oxides. Double sulphurets are thus formed 
which admit of being compared with ordinary salts, inasmuch 
as one metallic sulphuret constitutes the electro-positive, 
that is, the basic part of the compound ; the other, on the 
contrary, the electro-negative part, representing the acid. 
But here only the lowest sulphurets of the alkaline metals, 
that is, those corresponding as regards their composition 
with the basic oxides of these radicals, will fill the place of 
basic sulphurets ; the higher sulphurets behave, as it were, 
like peroxides ; they may sulphurise other metals, but do 
not combine with their sulphur compounds. 

The different stages of sulphuration of the electro-negative 
metals which Berzelius called sulphides, and whose composi- 
tion is analogous to that of the metallic acids, combine with 
the electro-positive or basic sulphurets in such proportions, 
that if the sulphur were replaced by an equal number of 
atoms of oxygen, some one of the salts would be formed 
which the same radicals would yield in their oxidized state. 

Of the sulphur compounds of the non-metallic elements, 
those of carbon and hydrogen alone combine with the basic 
sulphurets of the metals ; the latter class of compounds, — 
those of sulphuretted hydrogen with alkaline sulphurets, — 
were already known under the name of hydrothio-alkalies, 
but their true composition was not recognised until now. 

Berzelius regarded this extensive series of sulphur com- 
pounds quite appropriately as salts, and gave them the suit- 
able name of sulphur salts, in order to distinguish them from 
the oxygen salts, or those which had been long known, and 
the so-called haloid salts, under which name Berzelius com- 

Biography of Berzelius. 11 

prised the compounds of chlorine, bromine, iodine, fluorine, 
and cyanogen, as well as other compound radicals with 

This discovery of sulphur salts is indisputably one of the 
most important extensions of chemistry. Berzelius entered 
upon their study with great industry, and the number of sul- 
phur salts examined by him amounted to about 120, to many 
of which he certainly could only give a passing attention, 
although he analyzed many quantitatively. 

Next to this followed his investigation of hydrofluoric 
acid, one of the most important which Berzelius executed, 
since it has thrown such an unexpected light upon several 
of the most interesting departments of chemistry. 

Thenard and Gay-Lussac had indeed already prepared 
hydrofluoric acid in a pure state, and several of its com- 
pounds. But as they were at the same time occupied with 
a number of other important researches, they did not pur- 
sue this subject further, and especially did not study with 
sufficient accuracy the phenomena which presented them- 
selves when potassium was heated in fluoride of silicium. 

Berzelius, in the first instance, prepared the most impor- 
tant metallic fluorides ; then he went on to the remarkable 
compounds which hydrofluoric acid forms with electro-ne- 
gative fluorides, especially fluoride of silicium, and fluoride 
of boron, but also with fluoride of titanium and others. It 
was through him that we first acquired a correct conception 
of the composition of hydrofluosilicic acid and the fluosilicates, 
as well as of the action of water upon fluoride of silicium. 
But the most productive part of this investigation was when 
Berzelius repeated the experiments of Gay-Lussac and 
Thenard, for the purpose of decomposing fluoride of silicium 
by means of potassium. He had just at this time learned 
from Wohler how to prepare potassium by means of car- 
bonate of potash and carbon according to Brunner's method, 
and thus provided himself with large quantities of this 
metal. On decomposing fluoride of silicium by potassium he 
obtained the same results as the French chemists, namely, the 
brown non -metallic substance which they regarded as a com- 
plex compound of fluosilicide of potassium and of fluoride of 

1 2 Biography of Berzelius. 

potassium with silica. Berzelius found that it was impure sili- 
cium, which, when washed with water, could be obtained free 
from all fluorine compounds. It then contained only an ad- 
mixture of silica, which could be extracted by concentrated 
hydrofluosilicic acid, after having previously been slowly 
heated to redness. He moreover shewed that the silicium 
could be obtained in different states of density, and with dif- 
ferent characters. 

This unexpected result induced him to undertake similar 
investigations with fluoride of boron. We are indebted to him 
for a correct knowledge of the decomposition of fluoride of 
boron by water, and of the composition of the fluoborides, as 
well as an easy method of preparing boron, by treating fluo- 
boride of potassium with potassium. He likewise disco- 
vered at this time the gaseous chloride'of boron, and correct- 
ed the views of the composition of boracic acid by his own 
experiments and those of Arfvedson. He moreover prepared 
the compounds of fluoride of titanium with metallic fluorides, 
especially fluoride of potassium, from which body he shewed 
how metallictitanium was to be obtained by means of potas- 
sium. This is the only method by which titanium can be 
obtained in a pure state ; for the experiments of Wbhler have 
proved that the substance found in the slags of iron furnaces, 
and formerly called metallic titanium, contains nitrogen and 
cyanogen. The compounds of fluoride of tantalum with me- 
tallic fluorides were also prepared, and he obtained metallic 
tantalum in the same way as titanium. He then reduced zir- 
conium from the zirco-fluoride of potassium by means of 
potassium, studied the characters of zirconia, and finally 
turned his attention to the double compounds of fluoride of 
molybdenum and fluoride of wolfram with metallic fluorides, 
of which, however, he only prepared the compounds of fluoride 
of potassium with molybdate and tungstate of potash. 

Berzelius had intended to pursue these very interesting 
investigations of fluorine compounds further. But when he 
found that a distinguished French chemist had also com- 
menced the study of fluorine compounds, and had already 
named some newly discovered ones, he gave up his intention. 

It must be remarked, that in these investigations Berzelius 

Biography of Berzelius. 13 

assumed that fluoric acid was an oxygen acid, and that it con- 
tained a radical, combined with two atoms of oxygen, as he 
had previously done in the case of hydrochloric acid. But in 
the same year that he gave up his study of fluorine compounds, 
viz., in 1825, he observed in the first part of the third German 
edition of his " Lehrbuch," that it was more probable that 
fluoric acid, like hydrochloric acid, was a hydrogen acid ; and 
he described all the fluorine compounds according to this view. 

Together with these comprehensive researches, Berzelius 
published a number of less extensive ones. They all origi- 
nated in his meeting with a number of doubtful statements 
while editing his " Lehrbuch,'' in reference to which he im- 
mediately instituted experiments in his laboratory, for the 
purpose of quickly deciding upon them. From among these I 
will here mention only the research upon chloride of lime, 
which was formerly regarded, according to Gay-Lussac, as a 
compound of chlorine with lime, and the chlorides of potash 
and soda were likewise regarded as similar in composition. 
Berzelius, on the contrary, directly after adopting the view of 
the elementary nature of chlorine, declared these bleaching 
compounds to be mixtures of metallic chlorides with salts, 
containing an oxide of chlorine as an acid. He was of opin- 
ion, as he did not closely examine the subject, that the acid 
was chlorous acid, until the researches of Balard proved that 
it was hypochlorous acid. 

Berzelius proved, that all the other explanations of the 
composition of the bleaching compounds were incorrect, by 
shewing that these contained an oxide of chlorine. He dis- 
solved, in a solution of carbonate of potash, as much chloride 
of potassium as it would take up, and passed chlorine through 
the liquid without saturating it. After a few minutes chlo- 
ride of potassium was precipitated, which contained no chlo- 
rate of potash, or scarcely any ; the liquid had acquired the 
power of bleaching. When the liquid was separated from 
the precipitated chloride of potassium, and perfectly saturat- 
ed with chlorine, chlorate of potash was precipitated, con- 
taining scarcely any chloride of potassium. Consequently, 
during the first action of the chlorine, chloride of potassium 
must have been formed from potash, the oxygen of which 

1-A Biography of Be rzelius. 

could only have combined with chlorine, giving rise to the 
production of the bleaching compound. 

It had long been the wish of Berzelius to investigate the 
rare metals accompanying platinum, the knowledge of which 
had been left imperfect by the chemists who discovered them. 
He was enabled to carry this into execution, when, after the 
discovery of the large quantities of platinum in the Ural, he 
received, through Herrn von Caucrin, a considerable quan- 
tity of native platinum, as well as native Osmium -Iridium. 
This circumstance led him into a very important investiga- 
tion of the process for decomposing native platinum ores, by 
means of which the rare metals accompanying platinum were 
first properly made known. He studied the characters, de- 
termined the atomic weights of Rhodium, Palladium, Iridium, 
and Osmium, and prepared a [number of their compounds. 
Owing to the great number of the oxides and chlorides of 
these metals, and their great similarity to each other, this 
investigation was very difficult ; and, as regarded osmium 
and osmic acid, a very unpleasant one. But although Ber- 
zelius himself declared that he had as it were given only the 
first sketch of the history of these metals, still this re- 
search, like all that came from his hands, was an extreme- 
ly accurate, and to a certain extent, perfect one. 

The next investigation of Berzelius was in reference to a 
new and peculiar earth, Thoria, which he had discovered in 
a mineral from Brevig, in Norway. He had previously, on 
examining the mineral near Fahlun, found an earthy sub- 
stance in very small quantity, which he regarded, although 
not with certainty, as a new earth, which he called Thoria ; 
subsequently, however, he convinced himself that it was 
phosphate of Yttria. Since the newly discovered earth re- 
sembled, in some of its peculiar characters, alumina, he called 
it likewise Thoria ; the mineral in which he had detected it, 
Thorite, and the metal which he obtained from its volatile 
chlorine compound, Thorium. Thoria belongs to a group 
of earths which are very similar in their characters to zir- 
conia, and of which Svanberg, Bergemann, and Sjogren have 
recently discovered several. At first Berzelius assumed that 
thoria contained only one atom of oxygen ; the experiments, 

Biography of Berzelius. 15 

however, which he made for the purpose of determining the 
atomic weights of the metal and earth, are probably not quite 
decisive, and it is perhaps more likely that the earth is com- 
posed of two atoms of metal and three atoms of oxygen. 

The next subject to which Berzelius turned his attention 
belongs to organic chemistry. It was a comparative investi- 
gation of tartaric and racemic acids. He first corrected his 
former analysis of tartaric acid, in which he had given an 
atom more hydrogen than Prout and Hermann, and adopted 
the results of these chemists. But he then found that the crys- 
tallised tartaric acid had precisely the same composition as 
the effloresced racemic acid, and that both acids had the same 
capacity of saturation, — facts which, especially at that time, 
were in the highest degree remarkable. This was one of the 
first clearly demonstrated examples that bodies of different 
characters may have the same composition. Berzelius had, 
sometime before, observed a somewhat similar fact in re- 
ference to the oxides of tin, and Faraday, a short time after- 
wards, in reference to the compounds of carbon and hydro- 
gen. Clarke had also discovered the remarkable modifica- 
tion of phosphoric acid, which he called pyrophosphoric acid. 
On this occasion Berzelius combined together, in an interest- 
ing manner, what was known of these bodies, to which he 
gave the name Isomeric. This term has been universally 
adopted, now that the number of such bodies has been so 
greatly increased. 

From this time Berzelius frequently occupied himself with 
subjects which are certainly of the greatest interest for every 
thinking chemist, and indeed for every scientific man, since 
they are calculated to unfold to us somewhat more fully the 
nature of matter. He made known his views on this subject 
repeatedly, both in his " Jahresberichte," and in the several 
editions of his " Lehrbuch." Finally, he assumed two essen- 
tially distinct kinds of isomerism, and, in the strictest sense 
of the word, called those bodies only isomeric in which the 
elementary atoms may be regarded as grouped in different 
ways, forming compound bodies. These isomeric bodies may 
again be of two different kinds. They consist either of com- 
pounds which, with equal atomic weights, present different 

16 Biography of Berzelius. 

characters, or of compounds in which, though they possess 
different characters, the relative proportion of the constitu- 
ents is the same, but in which the atomic weights are not 
equal, but twice, thrice, etc., times as great as that of each 
other. Such bodies Berzelius termed, for the sake of anti- 
thesis, Polymeric compounds. 

The other kind of isomerism Berzelius called Allotropism. 
It refers solely to elementary bodies, which, owing to causes 
not yet sufficiently understood, assume a different character 
from that which is usual to them, and, as it appears, retain 
this difference in many combinations, when it may be the 
cause of differences in the character of these compounds. 
When isomeric conditions are observed in compound bodies, 
which consist of only two elements, combined in very simple 
proportions, this isomerism is, according to Berzelius, to be 
regarded less as owing to the different arrangement of the 
elementary atoms than to the allotropic condition of one or 
both of these elements ; nevertheless, instances may occur in 
which both causes are simultaneously at work. 

It is possible that Berzelius may sometimes have gone too 
far in his assumption of allotropic conditions, for there are 
some grounds for believing that an apparent allotropism may 
result merely from a different state of division. Thus, a few 
years before the discovery of the first example of isomerism, 
Magnus observed the interesting fact, that when the oxides 
of iron, nickel, and cobalt, are reduced by means of hydrogen 
to the lowest possible temperature, the metals obtained ignite 
spontaneously, and oxidize when exposed to the atmosphere. 
This pyrophoric character evidently results from the finer 
subdivision of these metals, and it is destroyed when a higher 
temperature is employed in their reduction, which causes the 
particles to cohere together. The differences in platinum, 
according as it is reduced from its salts by the humid process, 
or obtained by igniting the ammonio-chloride : likewise the 
unequal combustibility of silicium, and its variable solubility 
in hydrofluoric acid, may probably be explained in the same 
way. Nevertheless, Berzelius was inclined to ascribe all 
these differences to allotropic conditions. 

Shortly after the appearance of the paper in which Berze- 

Biography of Berzelius. 17 

lius treated of bodies which, with the same composition, have 
dissimilar characters, Dumas went so far as to put forward 
the bold question, Whether many elementary bodies were 
not allotropic conditions of one substance, especially such as 
have the same, or very nearly the same, atomic weight, as 
nickel and cobalt, platinum and iridium, &c, ? Berzelius fa- 
voured this hypothesis, and regarded it as befitting, that new 
ideas should be followed up in all directions, even when it is 
not possible at the same time to adhere strictly to that which 
is, for the moment, to be regarded as probable ; for truth 
sometimes appears inconsistent at the first glance, and in 
any case this was a way to arrive more rapidly at the results 
which might follow from a new idea. Certainly, upon the 
other hand, it cannot be denied that the question respecting 
a relation similar to isomerism between elements which have 
analogous but still distinctly different chemical characters, 
belongs to a domain, where perhaps our conjectures will never 
admit of being put to the proof. 

The next paper by Berzelius was upon Vanadium. Sefstrbm 
had found a new metal in the bar-iron of Taberg, which he 
called by this name. He had, however, restricted his in- 
vestigation to the preparation of the oxide, or rather the 
acid of this metal, from the finer slags of the Taberg iron, 
and the determination of its distinguishing characters. He 
then transferred his stock of Vanadic acid to Berzelius, in 
order that he might investigate the characters and history of 
the new metal. This investigation is a very extended one, 
and through it we have become acquainted with the new 
body in all its relations ; whilst, as these are manifold and 
interesting, and as the acid has but little resemblance to 
other acids, it was difficult to assign to it its true position 
among them. In this respect the paper of Berzelius on va- 
nadium may almost be compared with that upon selenium ; for 
both have this peculiarity in common, that by them we have 
become so thoroughly acquainted with new and hitherto en- 
tirely unknown bodies, although in both instances but very mi- 
nute quantities of rare material could be employed, that sub- 
sequent investigations have added but little more at all, and 
nothing essential. Vanadium was afterwards found at several 

18 Biography of Berzelius. 

places, although always in very small quantities. Wohler 
directed especial attention to the fact, that the acid of the 
new metal was contained in the lead ores of Zimapan, in 
Mexico, in which, as early as 1801, Del Rio discovered a 
new metal, and called it Erythronium ; hut, misled hy the 
authority of Collet-Descotils, who declared it to be chromium 
(with which Vanadium has certainly some similarity), he 
afterwards admitted that his discovery was an error. 

His next researches, which were upon Tellurium, were of a 
similar nature. Berzelius had already instituted experiments 
with very minute quantities of this metal, in so many respects 
interesting, but he was compelled to discontinue them for want 
of material. When Wohler sent him a considerable quantity 
of this rare metal, which he had prepared from the telluric 
bismuth of Schemnitz, he again commenced the investigation. 
He first shewed how this metal can be prepared in its purest 
state. He then prepared all the compounds of tellurous 
acid (peroxide), as well of telluric acid, discovered by him, 
with bases, and indeed the different isomeric modifications 
which these acids form. These researches are likewise so 
complete, that they have fully developed the history of this 
remarkable metal in all its relations. 

The last great investigation by Berzelius, is that upon 
meteoric stones. He undertook this with the intention of 
studying these bodies, as my brother and Nordenskjbld had 
already done, as species of rocks, and, by this means, to de- 
termine what individual minerals they contained. The im- 
mediate inducement was a meteoric stone sent to him by 
Reich enbach, which had fallen a year previously in Moravia. 
But besides this, he examined three other earthy meteoric 
stones, and two masses of metallic iron. Berzelius inferred 
from his analyses that meteoric stones consist entirely of such 
minerals as are found upon the earth, and that they certainly 
do not contain any elementary constituent which is not met 
with in terrestrial bodies. It was only in the meteoric stone 
of Alais that he found carbon in an unknown state of combi- 
nation : this stone, when placed in water, disintegrated and 
fell to powder, which had a mixed smell of clay and hay. This 
shewed that if, as Berzelius considered, meteoric stones origi- 

Biography of Berzelius. 19 

nated from other cosmical bodies, in their native state they 
could be converted into clayey mixtures, like the rocks on our 
own globe. He then raised the question as to whether this 
carbonaceous earth from the surface of another cosmical body 
contained organic remains, and consequently, whether there 
were upon its surface organised bodies, more or less resem- 
bling those on our earth ? It is easy to conceive the interest 
with which he attempted to solve this question. This solu- 
tion was not affirmative, but the results of his experiments 
did not justify a negative inference. Water and alkalies did 
not extract anything organic from the meteoric mass ; on dry 
distillation, however, carbonic acid, water, and a blackish- 
grey sublimate were obtained, but no empyreumatic oil and no 
hydrocarbon ; the carbonaceous matter was, therefore, not of 
the same nature as the humus upon the earth's surface. The 
sublimate heated in oxygen, gave no carbonic acid or water, 
and changed into a white insoluble substance, whose nature 
could not be determined on account of the minute quantity. 
But to have pronounced it to be an elementary body, not origi- 
nally belonging to our earth, would have been an exaggera- 

This was the last extensive research made by Berzelius. 
His health, which, never strong, had already often necessi- 
tated the interruption of his labours, became, with increasing 
age, more delicate, and no longer admitted of his remaining 
continuously in the laboratory. He suffered, as is not unfre- 
quent with intellectual men, especially from nervous head- 
aches, which could not be mitigated by the most moderate 
living. He now began to complain of a failing of the senses, 
especially his sight, and also of the weakness of his memory. 

But his scientific activity did not on this account cease. 
He interested himself to the last for every branch of chemis- 
try, and took the most active share in all the achievements 
of this science. Indeed, now that he was no longer occupied 
by important practical labours, he concentrated his activity 
more especially upon undertakings of a literary character, 
and with a zeal and industry which deserve the greater ac- 
knowledgment, since his bodily sufferings increased every 


20 Biography of Berzelius. 

Among the products of tho literary activity of Berzelius, I 
will here only make especial mention of the different editions 
of his " Lehrbuch der Chemie,'' and his " Jahresberichte 
ueber die Fortschritte der Physikalischen Wissenschaften/' 
His other works, the lectures upon Animal Chemistry, and his 
work on the Blowpipe have already been spoken of. 

The " Lehrbuch der Chemie" first appeared in Swedish. 
It was translated into German first by Blumhof, then by 
Blode and Palmstedt, and the later editions were translated 
by Wohler and Wiggers. It was also translated into other 
languages, but did not pass through so many editions in any, 
as in the German, for besides the translations of Blumhof 
and Blode, five editions have appeared. The last but one, 
the fourth, consisted, on completion, of ten parts. The fifth 
and last was commenced by Berzelius in 1842, but was not 
completed, only five volumes having appeared, certainly very 
large, each one containing nearly sixty sheets. The inor- 
ganic chemistry alone is completed. Of the organic part con- 
tained in the last two volumes, the most important — the ani- 
mal chemistry — is wanting. 

In this work Berzelius has treated very fully of all the 
facts appertaining to the science, with a remarkable clearness, 
perspicuity, and apt illustration. At the same time, every 
subject is criticised in such an impartial and just manner 
as can be displayed only by one who stands as high in 
science as he did. The arrangement which he selected is 
indeed not a strictly systematic one, which, in a science so 
imperfect as chemistry, can certainly only be called conve- 
nient. But especially in the inorganic part, there is still a 
certain well-founded succession, such that it is very easy to 
become familiar with the work. Tn the organic part the facts 
are not arranged according to a strict scientific principle, and 
a classification adapted for inorganic compounds could not 
possibly be carried out with organic bodies. For although 
Berzelius had always declared himself strongly in favour of 
the application to organic chemistry of what we know of the 
mode of combination of the elements in inorganic nature, as 
the clue by which alone we could arrive at a knowledge of 
organic bodies, still he was compelled to admit, that we were 

Biography of Berzelius. 21 

far from having advanced so far as to be able to treat of all 
organic bodies as radicals, oxides, chlorides, &c, as in inor- 
ganic chemistry. Most of the assumed organic radicals, often 
of a complicated nature, are of a hypothetical nature ; they 
gain a somewhat certain character only when some com- 
pounds of the radical with other simple radicals can be pro- 
duced, and the oxygen in them replaced by chlorine, sulphur, 
&c. In addition to this, chemists are of very different opi- 
nions as to how the composition of organic bodies is to be 
represented, even when they agree in a fundamental prin- 
ciple. Moreover, as is natural, the different arrangements 
vary, according as more new facts are discovered. For the 
present, therefore, it is at least more advantageous to treat 
of organic bodies in an elementary work in such a way as 
Berzelius has done, namely, in groups containing those bodies 
which have the greatest general similarity in chemical cha- 
racters. It has frequently been seen, that works in which 
a^theoretical principle has been strictly followed throughout, 
do not so well fulfil their principal object. 

In the organic part of his work, Berzelius has declared 
himself against the so-called substitution theory, and the 
law of types. He assumes, on the contrary, that conjugate 
compounds exist in organic bodies, in which, for instance, 
acids are united with compound radicals, or with their oxides, 
chlorides, &c, in such a way that the acid is not saturated, 
but is still capable of combining with bases without separa- 
tion of the associated substance, — the conjunct, — which enters 
with the acid as a constituent of the salt. When an acid has 
entered into such a conjugate combination, it has generally 
acquired such altered characters, that neither the acid nor its 
salts are similar to the free acid and its salts. When hydro- 
gen is replaced in an organic substance by chlorine, or an- 
other halogen, this generally takes place in the conjunct and 
not in the acid, and the former does not on this account cease 
to play its former part, of modifying the character of the 
salts into which it enters, with its acids, more or less, and 
accordingly as its composition is altered by substitution. 

It has been asserted that the replacement of hydrogen by 
chlorine, in organic compounds, was not to be explained 

22 Biography of Berzelius. 

at all in accordance with the electro-chemical views of Ber- 
zelius, and that consequently these views were incorrect. 
But when such a substitution takes place, it is, as already 
mentioned, generally only in the compound radical, — that is, 
the conjunct, and a new radical is thus formed, in which chlo- 
rine may perhaps occupy the place of hydrogen, but cannot 
play the same part as it did. Substitution of elements may 
therefore be very satisfactorily explained, according to the 
principles of Berzelius ; and if his theory be impartially com- 
pared with the others which have been put forward in such 
number in organic chemistry, the inference will be, that in 
the present state of the science it is in a position to explain 
the facts more satisfactorily than any other. 

On looking carefully through the various editions of this 
work, it is impossible not to regard it with admiration. It 
is not only the clear and comprehensive description which 
attracts, — the sound, impartial criticism, which compels men 
of opposite opinions to appreciate justly, — or the great mi- 
nuteness which has not left unnoticed a single fact, however 
trifling, if it was of any influence — but it is also the enor- 
mous industry which must create astonishment. A scientific 
man who had done nothing more than publish this excellent 
work, in so many editions, each of which was so completely 
revised that but little of the previous edition was retained, 
could not be refused by us our grateful acknowledgments of 
his great industry : and yet this constitutes but a fraction 
of the achievements of Berzelius. 

It is touching to call to mind the words with which he 
concluded the preface to the last German edition, which he 
could not quite complete ; it is dated November 1842. He 
says, " I cannot overlook that, even if the Almighty should 
grant me life and power to complete the edition of which the 
first part is now published, this will be the last. For this 
reason, I considered it necessary to revise it so thoroughly, 
that I could express the final views which have appeared to 
me as the most probable during the long space of time in 
which I was so fortunate as to be able to follow with unin- 
terrupted attention the development of the science, from the 
first growth of the antiphlogistic chemistry up to the present 

Biography of Berzelius. 23 

time — fortunate if, among the many views which a future 
extended experience will alter or correct, at least some few 
may prove to have been rightly conceived. With the pro- 
foundest conviction of the uncertainty of our theoretical views 
as well as of their indispensability, I have endeavoured, in 
presenting them to the reader, not to inspire him with any 
more firm conviction of their accuracy than they appear to me 
to merit, and I have therefore always directed his attention to 
the uncertainty in the selection of modes of explanation. It 
is a great obstacle to the progress of science to attempt to 
cause conviction of the truth of that which is uncertain. 
What is believed is not submitted to any further examina- 
tion ; and the history of science shews that a deeply-rooted 
belief in theoretical conceptions has often withstood the most 
palpable proofs of their inaccuracy. Many of the defenders 
of Phlogiston required a regular development of the doctrine 
of oxidation in order to be convinced of its truth, and many 
distinguished men died believing in Phlogiston." 

An undertaking by no means less gigantic than his " Lehr- 
buch'' was the publication of the " Jahresberichte," which ap- 
peared regularly from the year 1820 until the death of Ber- 
zelius. The last completed volume comprises the discoveries 
of the year 1846. Berzelius therefore published twenty- 
seven volumes. 

After Berzelius had been elected, as successor of the botanist 
Olaf Swartz, to the office of perpetual secretary of the Aca- 
demy of Sciences, he succeeded, among other important 
changes which he considered necessary in the statutes of the 
Academy, in carrying into effect the arrangement that annual 
reports on the progress made in the various physical sciences 
should be written by members of the Academy, especially the 
different curators of the Natural History collections of the 
Academy, and that these report's should be presented at the 
annual public meeting held upon the 31st of March, the 
anniversary, and extracts read from them, after which they 
should appear in print. Members of the Academy undertook 
to write such annual reports in the departments of Botan}^, 
Zoology, Astronomy, Mathematics, and Technology. Berze- 
lius himself undertook the reports on Physics, Inorganic 

24 Biography of Berzelius. 

Chemistry, Mineralogy, Vegetable and Animal Chemistry, 
and Geology. 

It was only a man like him, who as it were surveyed at 
one glance the whole range of chemistry, and himself worked 
so much in all its branches, that could have adequately exe- 
cuted such an undertaking. These reports will long remain 
an example of the way in which such productions ought to 
be carried out. They were very comprehensive in those depart- 
ments with which Berzelius was most intimately acquainted, 
— inorganic chemistry, chemical mineralogy, and vegetable 
and animal chemistry ; less so in the other parts, which con- 
tained only the most important discoveries in those sciences 
with which Berzelius had not especially occupied himself, or 
which he had not pursued during the latter half of his scien- 
tific career, such as physics and geology. The reports were 
generally objectively written. If the views of the author of 
the original paper corresponded more or less with those of 
Berzelius, he gave an abstract, proportionate in extent to the 
importance of the subject, but always most admirable. If, 
on the contrary, their views differed from his, he allowed 
himself to express his opinion upon them, and observed a 
noble and impartial criticism, which rarely became at all 
violent. In this respect, it is certainly to be regretted that 
precisely his last " Jahrbericht '' closes with an energetic 
attack upon another celebrated chemist. But Berzelius never 
mixed up personalities with his judgments ; and if some- 
times one could not agree with them, still they were always 
of such a nature, that although they occasionally gave pain 
to those upon whom they were passed, they could never ex- 
cite any bitterness. 

For the science itself these reports were of the greatest 
value. Berzelius, on several occasions, drew from the investi- 
gations of others important conclusions, which had entirely 
escaped the notice of their authors ; and as frequently did he 
direct attention to new experiments which should be made in 
order to strengthen the results already obtained, or upon which 
to found new arguments. In this manner he exercised a very 
beneficial influence. He was also led to make experiments 
himself by these reports ; and he then #ave their results, 

Biography of Berzelius. 25 

when they contradicted, improved, or extended those of 
others, in the reports. 

These reports were especially long when it was necessary 
to refute opinions and views which Berzelius considered as 
detrimental to the progress of science. Thus, the reports of 
the discoveries of the years 1838 and 1839 contain very de- 
tailed arguments against the hypothesis that all organic acids 
are hydrogen acids, and against the substitution theory. 
These arguments have always a rare clearness and simplicity. 

The objection has often been made to this report, that it 
was sometimes very complete, and in some instances too 
extended ; sometimes, on the contrary, especially in the phy- 
sical part, scanty and imperfect. This is certainly true ; but 
it was very natural that Berzelius should have a partiality 
for the treatment of those subjects in which he especially 
interested himself and of which he was most master ; but as 
he was almost equally at home in all parts of chemistry, this 
objection cannot be made to the strictly chemical parts of the 
reports. With regard to the physical part of the reports, 
Berzelius had only undertaken it because no other member 
of the Academy would or could do so. It was only in the 
years 1838 and 1839 that the report was written by Von 
Wrede. As Berzelius had only occupied himself with those 
parts of physics which were intimately connected with che- 
mistry, it is almost only these parts which are touched upon 
in his reports. 

In the same way, there was no other reporter to be 
found for the geological part ; but as Berzelius had never 
occupied himself specially with geology, and only in so far 
as it was connected with chemistry, he treated only of the 
chemical part of that science in his reports, and otherwise 
noticed only the geological researches referring to Sweden. 
In the latter volumes reports upon geology are altogether 

I have thus attempted to furnish a sketch of the compre- 
hensive scientific activity of Berzelius. It is probably seldom 
that science is so greatly advanced through the labours of 
one man, and there is scarcely any chemist who has furnished 
such admirable and sound contributions as he. 

26 Biography of Berzelius. 

This representation of his scientific merits would, how- 
ever, give only a feeble idea of the whole greatness of the 
man, were we to judge from it alone. It is rare that so 
perfect a correspondence of mind and character is found in a 
man as in him. That which so irresistibly attached those 
who had the happiness to have any long intercourse with 
Berzelius, was not merely the lofty genius visible in all 
his researches ; it was not merely the clearness, the aston- 
ishing copiousness of ideas, the untiring care, and the great 
industry — the general impression which he made was that 
of the highest perfection. It was — and every one who 
knew him intimately will agree with me — it was at the same 
time those characters which placed him so high as a man ; 
it was the consideration for others, the noble friendship which 
he evinced towards all whom he considered worthy of it, the 
lofty disinterestedness, the extreme conscientiousness, the 
perfect and just recognition of the merits of others ; in short, 
it was all those traits together which spring from a worthy 
and honourable character. These were the sentiments which 
inspired all those who for a longer or shorter time came into 
contact with him, especially his pupils — of whom our Aca- 
demy contains more than all the rest of Germany — with the 
most pious respect for his memory. 

Berzelius travelled the path of Science together with other 
distinguished men, who likewise advanced chemistry with 
giant steps. This was a time such as no other science has 
yet known, for no other has grown up from its childhood to a 
certain maturity in so incredibly short a space of time. 

Berzelius was born almost in the same year as H. Davy 
and Gay-Lussac. However similar were the labours of these 
three men in science, they were in other respects very dif- 

Davy's brilliant discoveries, especially that of the metallic 
nature of the alkalies, gave chemistry an extraordinary 
impulse, and caused great enthusiasm in its pursuit. He 
achieved great things by his discoveries, the further following 
out of which, however, he left to others. He died in the 
prime of life, but in a certain degree his intellectual blossom 
was already past. Born poor, he had attained to great 

Biography of Berzelius. 27 

honours and great riches, which were perhaps obstacles to 
his being subsequently as active for science as formerly. It 
is, moreover, in the highest degree to be regretted that, in 
the latter years of his life, his very extraordinary talents were 
entirely estranged from that science for which he might have 
achieved so much. 

Gay-Lussac commenced his scientific career with the dis- 
covery of an important law in physics, but he afterwards 
applied himself wholly to chemistry, and advanced it as much 
by accurate investigations as brilliant discoveries. To him 
is owing, among other important facts, the law, so important 
for the doctrine of definite proportions, that gases unite in 
simple relations of volume, — a discovery of which, however, 
he did not at first make many applications of which it was 
capable. But the most brilliant researches of Gay-Lussac 
are indisputably, — besides those published in common with 
Thenard on physico-chemical subjects, — the two sets of re- 
searches upon cyanogen and iodine. Even independently 
of the extremely important influence which these researches 
exercised upon the whole range of chemistry, they may be 
regarded as models of investigation, both as regards the 
total results, the strict consistency of the reasoning, and the 
admirable description. As often as they are read, even 
at the present day, they will be regarded with astonish- 

But when, soon after the appearance of his paper upon 
cyanogen, Gay-Lussac undertook, in conjunction with Arago, 
the editorship of the " Annales de Chim. et de Physique," his 
scientific activity became gradually less. The first volumes 
of this Journal certainly contain several small papers and 
remarks which call to mind the author of those on Iodine and 
Cyanogen ; but after a few years he ceased to write almost 
altogether; and it is almost more to be sincerely regretted 
than in the case of Davy, that Gay-Lussac, who died but a 
short time since, and after Berzelius, should already in the 
vigour of life have renounced his active scientific career, 
which seemed to promise so much. 

It was not so with Berzelius. He also, after years of po- 
verty, gradually attained, if not to great wealth at least to 

23 Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 

external honours, without having sought them in the least. 
But these could not estrange him from science ; on the con- 
trary, he took advantage of every higher position for its 
benefit. Science was always solely the object of his en- 
deavours, and lie never employed them for a purpose foreign 
to it. So completely was his whole life dedicated to science, 
that, even under the sufferings resulting from a painful 
disease during his latter years, his whole thoughts remained 
bent upon it alone. 

Such men present in their inspired labours, as it were, the 
type of the true man of science ; and who does not feel him- 
self happy to meet them in life ? 

Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. — Laterite Formation. — 
Fluviatile Deposit of Nuera Ellia. By E. F. Kelaart, 
M.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., Assistant Surgeon to the Forces. 
Communicated by the Author. 

Though the geological formations of Ceylon are of a simple 
nature, and described as such by writers, that attention has 
not been paid to the laterite formation of the island which it 
deserves ; some have called it decayed clay ironstone, others 
have described it to be granitic rocks weathered in situ. It 
has not, however, been so slightly regarded by Indian geolo- 
gists ; their more recent researches have discovered new fea- 
tures in this peculiar formation, which have thrown great 
doubts as to its being the mere result of disintegrated or de- 
composed trappean rocks in situ. Captain Newbold of the, 
Madras Engineers has even gone so far as to suspect it to be 
of tertiary origin. It is with a view of drawing the attention 
of observers in this island, for a more complete elucidation 
of this subject, that this communication is submitted to the 
Ceylon Asiatic Society. 

The term laterite (derived from later, a brick) is applied to 
those masses of reddish clay, more or less indurated, and 
containing pebbles or crystals of quartz. It is called by the 
Singalesc cabook, and it is used extensively for building 
purposes. There arc several varieties of laterite, and which 

Br Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 29 

admit of classification. 1. Laterite, properly so called, of a 
hard, compact, almost jaspedeous rock, formed of indurated 
clay, tubular or sinuous, in which are impacted quartz cry- 
stals of various sizes and colours ; generally of a reddish or 
brick colour. To this kind, the term Quartzose may be 
applied, as it contains a larger proportion of undecomposed 
quartz. The cavities and sinuosities are lined or sometimes 
filled with a whitish, yellowish or reddish clay. 2. A second 
variety of laterite, and that most frequently met with in 
Ceylon, is of a softer consistence, and can be cut easily with 
a knife, but hardens on exposure to the atmosphere. The 
terra Lithomargic laterite has been applied to this kind. 3. 
There is another form, which my friend Staff-Surgeon Dr 
Clark calls Detrital. This is found in nullahs or ravines. It 
is evidently formed of pebbles of quartz, loosely imbedded 
in clay, both being washed down to these nullahs by the heavy 
rains. The detritus of laterite is seen about Colombo form- 
ing a braeccia with marine shells. A laterite gravel is also 
seen in various parts of the island, covering the laterite hills, 
and it is also found at their base. This gravel is nothing 
more than the quartz crystals of the lateritic rocks, separated 
by the rains from their clayey matrix. Some of the pebbles 
are denuded entirely of the clayey covering ; others retain 
still a thin coating of it. Lithomarge is a sectile clayey sub- 
stance of variegated colours. It is chiefly formed of a de- 
composed felspar and hornblende ; whitish when the former 
prevails, and yellow or reddish when hornblende predomi- 
nates in the rock from which it is derived, owing to the 
larger proportion of oxide of iron which the latter mineral 
contains. There are extensive hills of lithomarge in Ceylon, 
and frequently it lies* under the hard laterite, and is often in- 
terposed between its layers. 

With the exception of Voysey, and his few supporters (who 
regard the laterite to be of igneous or volcanic origin), geo- 
logists consider laterite to be the product of the disintegra- 
tion and decomposition of granitic rocks. The difference of 
opinion rests upon the question, whether the disintegration 
or decomposition took place in situ, or whether the disinte- 
grated masses were deposited, or brought from a distance, 

oO Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 

and laid over the rocks on which laterite now lies ; or, in 
other words, is it a formation in itself derived from rocks 
which formerly existed ? 

To the former view (weathering in situ) there are many 
more supporters than to the latter, and among them our late 
much lamented Dr Gardner, who, from observations both in 
this island and on the continent of India, attributed the for- 
mation of laterite to the simple decay of gneiss or granitic 
rocks. I cannot but agree with him that in many cuts or 
sections of the rock, nature is detected in the act of disinte- 
gration, some of the original stratification (often seen running 
almost vertically) of the gneiss being preserved. In other 
places it is difficult to trace where the gneiss terminates, 
and the laterite commences, one as it were running into the 
other. But I must observe that I could never trace this con- 
tinuity in the hills of the harder variety of laterite. Here, 
certainly, the appearances are favourable to the opinion that 
laterite is a distinct formation of itself. And yet this hard 
laterite rests on gneissic rocks, as is seen at the bottom of 
wells sunk in the lateritic hills at Mutwall, and in the Fort 
of Colombo. Laterite may also be seen, says Captain New- 
bold, capping hypogene or trap-rocks of great elevations, 
while the adjacent hills, composed of an exactly similar rock, 
and forming a continuation of the same bed, equally exposed 
to the action of the weather, are quite bare of the laterite. 
He also observed laterite resting on limestone, without a 
trace of lime in the laterite. If my information be correct, 
laterite is also seen over some of the limestones of Jaffna, in 
the north of the island. General Cullen found on the western 
coast of India, fifteen miles south of Quilon, a layer of lignite 
in the laterite, imbedded in a stratum of dark shale and clays. 
Lignite has also been seen in the laterite of Travancore ; 
and graphite has also been observed there. These are the 
observations which have made Newbold and others view the 
laterite of Southern India as a distinct formation, more recent 
than any of the rocks. Till similar features are observed in 
some of the laterites of Ceylon, we are obliged to regard them 
to be the weathering of rocks in situ. 

To comprehend, how a hard compact rock like granite or 

Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 31 

gneiss, could moulder away into laterite and lifchomarge, it is 
necessary to know the composition of the minerals which 
enter into the formation of these rocks. 

The following are the mineral constituents of the most 
common forms of 

Silica, . 
Lime, . 
Potash, . 
Oxide of Iron, 
Oxide of Manganese 
Water, . 
















a trace. 





98-25 96-00 98-25 

Quartz consists of nearly pure silica, with a trace how- 
ever of alumina, and sometimes of iron.* 

It is easily seen, that the chief source of the alumina 
necessary for the formation of clay, is derived from the 
felspar and mica which enter into the composition of granitic 
rocks, and that hornblende supplies the largest quantity of 
iron, the hyperoxidation of which, assisted probably by elec- 
tric influences, precedes the disintegration of these rocks. 
In rocks in which felspar and hornblende predominate, the 
clay formed is much variegated, pure felspar forms the porce- 
lain clay or kaolin so abundant on the plains of Nuwera Ellia. 
Quartz, if deeply impregnated with oxide of iron, will also 
moulder away, but not quite so soon as the other mineral 
constituents of hypogene rocks. 

Before I had observed the immense lithomargic hills of 
Ouvah and Nuwera Ellia, it was difficult for me to believe 
that large mountain masses of hard rock could disintegrate 
so completely into lithomarge. When there are, however, 
such unequivocal proofs of rocks, several hundred feet high, 
mouldering away into kaolin or white porcelain clay in some 
parts, and in others into lithomargic earths and clays of 
various colours and consistence, it is not difficult to account 
even for the formation of the harder forms of laterite. In 
sections made in Nuwera Ellia for the construction of roads, 

* From Jameson's Journal. 

32 Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 

successive layers of sienitic gneiss are seen in various stages 
of decomposition, and these layers retain in some parts, where 
the decay is not far advanced, the original lines of stratifica- 
tion. Some of these layers are of pure kaolin, others of a 
reddish or yellowish clay, some mixed of all three, giving a 
beautiful variegated surface to these exposed parts of the 
hills. In half-decomposed portions of some of the hills on 
the plains of Nuwera Ellia may be seen dark reddish spots, 
which are formed of decomposed garnets, and in other hills 
are seen scaly graphite. Adularia and Ceylonite are some- 
times Pound in the beds of clay. If such, then, be the striking 
illustration of the decomposition of one form of gneiss in 
which hornblende and felspar prevail, it is easy to conceive 
other forms of granitic or gneissic rocks weathering into 
laterite in other circumstances and other situations. Laterite 
in any shape is not found in Nuwera Ellia. The stones used 
here for building are half-decomposed gneiss obtained from 
lithomargic hills, and it is yet to be ascertained how long 
these will last. I fear that the decomposed stone is too 
felspathic to last many years. 

The presence of lignite in some of the laterites of Southern 
India, and sometimes laterite being found over limestone, 
would lead us to suppose that laterites are of two periods. 
The one, and only one perhaps existing in Ceylon, being of 
the weathering of rocks in situ, and therefore still being 
formed, and the other a deposit of disintegrated lateritic 
matter (over more recent formations) derived from previously 
existing lateritic rocks. The subject, however, requires 
further investigation : it is involved in greater mystery than 
many other geological phenomena. Ceylon affords many' 
opportunities for carrying on observations necessary for its 
complete solution. The features of the laterite of Southern 
India which induced Newbold to suppose laterite to be a 
distinct formation, may also exist in Ceylon, therefore mem- 
bers of the Asiatic Society will do well to note the nature of 
the rocks on which the Ceylon laterite lies, and to examine 
whether any of it contains lignite, or is in the slightest 
degree fossilliferous. The discovery of fossils alone will not 
prove that laterite is not decomposed gneiss in situ, for Sir 

Dr Kelaartfs Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 33 

Charles Lyell and others have suggested the possibility of 
finding fossils even in gneiss of later origin. Granting that 
this is the case, nothing could then be easier than to account 
for the presence of fossils in decomposed masses of the same 
kind of rocks. This subject is now engaging the attention 
of the Geological Society of London, their notice being at- 
tracted to it by the so-called "foot prints' 1 '' on the gneissic 
rock at Kornegalle, which I have not yet had an opportunity 
of examining.* 

Though the geological features of Ceylon resemble those 
of Southern India, yet from the paucity of observations 
perhaps there appears to be considerable difference in many 
respects, especially in the nature of more recent deposits. 
Kunker, a limestone gravel, has not been noticed in Ceylon, 
nor has clay-slate been seen in this island, though its asso- 
ciate rocks are found in great abundance. Both are found 
in extensive beds in Southern India. Regur, the black cotton 
soiHvhich covers nearly two-thirds of Southern India, has 
not been noticed in Ceylon, and yet it is most probable that 
all these three formations exist in some parts of the island : 
most likely in the northern districts. 

The only alluvial, or rather fluviatile deposit in Ceylon, 
resembling in external characters the Regur of India, is the 
black soil of Nuwera Ellia and its neighbourhood. With 
this difference, however, regur lies over a limestone gravel, 
and the blackish loam of Nuwera Ellia over a quartz gravel, 
with a substratum of clayey earths formed of the lithomargic 
hills and valleys over which the loam and gravel were de- 
posited. A deposit of gravel and loam has also been observed 
on the Nielgherries 6000 feet above the sea level. These 
deposits of loam and gravel on the patnas and plains of 
Nuwera Ellia, are considered by casual observers to be the 
decayed particles of the rocks in the immediate vicinity 
brought down by the rains. If this is their real nature, the 
decomposed particles of the gneiss and quartzite which chiefly 
compose these existing rocks above the plains, could not by 
any means have taken their present position of the loam and 

* Since this paper was written, I have examined the rock, and found it to be 
alminated granite, and the marks merely the effects of weathering. 

34 Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 

gravel. The colour, too, of the decomposed particles would 
not be dark brown or black, but whitish or yellowish. The 
loam and gravel lie so conformably on the lithomargic sur- 
face of the hills and valleys, that it is unreasonable to suppose 
that they were deposited from any other source than from a 
large sheet of water.* The heavier particles in the form of 
gravel sinking first, and then the lighter particles held in 
suspension in the water were deposited over the bed of 
gravel, or, as in some places seen, on layers of various sized 
pieces of quartzite and gneiss. The loam is not mixed with 
gravel, it is composed of fine sand, just such as mud of rivers 
or lakes is composed of. In the lower layers this loam is of 
a brown colour, but becoming darker as it approaches the 
surface, and after being mixed with the decomposed matter 
of the grasses which grow on it, the loam becomes nearly of 
a peaty nature and of a blackish colour. 

In sections along the different roads which traverse the 
plains, a continuous layer of gravel, from one inch to two or 
three feet in thickness, is seen lying over the lithomargic 
hills, and on this gravelly surface the brown or blackish loam 
is seen of various thickness, generally from one to three feet ; 
in some places even five or six feet of loam is found. In a 
section near the Governor's cottage an interruption appears 
to have taken place after about a foot of mud was deposited, 
and then came over the pure mud masses of gneiss and 
pebbles now lying several feet thick mixed with loam of a 
brownish colour. Over this mixed deposit is again seen a 
thin layer of loam such as is found in other parts of the 
plain — the whole forming a curious variegated structure. 

The above observations lead me to conclude that the plains ■ 
of Nuwera Ellia, and perhaps those of higher parts, have 
once been the channel of a slow winding river or bed of an 
extensive lake. And it is probable that the lower hills, 
which look like inverted tea cups, were elevated by subse- 

* May not this account for the want of luxuriant vegetation on these patnas, 
the water having washed and carried away to the lower parts of the island the 
alkalies and phosphates, so necessary to plants ? The black soil of Nuwera 
Ellia, however rich in appearance, requires much manuring; the best potatoes 
are the products of well-manured grounds. Guano is as much required here 
as anywhere else. 

Dr Kelaart's Notes on the Geology of Ceylon. 35 

quent upheavals after the waters had deposited the gravel 
and loam. It is, perhaps, in this manner only that the 
almost uniform thickness of the gravel and loam in the valleys 
and on the tops of the hills can be accounted for. Had the 
present elevated surface existed while the waters were de- 
positing the heavier particles held in suspension, we should 
expect to find thicker layers of gravel on the valleys than on 
the sides of hills ; such is not, however, the case : thick beds 
of gravel are even found on the tops of the hills several 
hundred feet above the present drainage of the plains. .Geo- 
logists have decided that the mountains of Southern India 
were elevated to their present heights by successive uphea- 
vals, and therefore it is not objectionable to consider the 
higher lands of Ceylon to have also been elevated by more 
than one upheaval. There is abundant evidence, too, besides 
the one just alluded to, to conclude that Ceylon has been sub- 
jected to successive internal forces, which will explain also 
the present configuration of the mountain masses of Nuwera 
Ellia and the characters of Nuwera Ellia and Horton Plains. 
Hitherto no evidence of deluvial or glacial currents have 
been found in Ceylon. The rounded rocks of granite and 
gneiss, seen on various parts of the island, are the effects of 
a spontaneous concentric exfoliation, which small and large 
masses of these rocks are susceptible of. Major Lushington 
has instanced this peculiar exfoliation in a gigantic scale on 
the rock of Dambool. Alluvial and fluviatile deposits are 
seen in various parts of the island ; but none, perhaps, so 
extensive as the fluviatile deposits of Nuwera Ellia, which 
appear to extend from Horton Plains passing over Nuwera 
Ellia, and progressing towards the valleys of Maturatte on 
one side, and to Dimboola on the other. Although these de- 
posits are not of a diluvial nature, still there is an importance 
attached to them, as they shew that at a former epoch the 
interior of Ceylon was traversed by broader and more expan- 
sive sheets of water than any of the rivers of the present 
day. It is doubtful, however, whether this large lake or river, 
which has deposited its mud on the plains of Nuwera Ellia, 
is dwindled down into the narrow streams which now exist 
on these plains as tributaries to the great Mahavilla ganga. 

c 2 


On the Condition and Prospects of the Aborigines of 
Australia. By W. Westgarth, Esq. 

(Continued from vol. liii. p. 241.) 

9. Past and Present Methods, and Proposed Plans for the 
Welfare of the Aborigines. 

All plans that have been hitherto adopted for the civilisation of 
the Australian Aborigines appear to have proved almost uniformly 
unavailing for the accomplishment of any permanent good. Amidst 
the difficulties which beset the subject, and the discordant opinions 
as to the methods that are best adapted to their condition and cir- 
cumstances, it is not to be supposed that the eye of the Government 
possessed the faculty of discerning the proper path more clearly than 
others. Various apparently feasible plans have been tried, and are 
still being followed out by the authorities ; and expense has not been 
spared, where there appeared any prospect of benefit. 

Missions, — The following table, taken from the appendix to the 
Committee's Report, contains an abstract of Mr Auditor-General 
Lithgow's Return for the Colony of New South Wales, of the ex- 
penses of Missions to the Aborigines, from the 1st January 1821 
to 30th June 1845. The period of duration of each Mission is 
taken from Mr Dredge's pamphlet : 

Aboriginal Native Institution, 1821 to 1833, 
Inquiry under Lt. R. Sadlier, 1826 and 1827, 
Mission at Lake Macquarie, 1827 to 1841, 
Mission at Wellington Valley, 1832 to 1843, 
German Mission at Moreton Bay, 1838 to 

1842, 1,516 14 2 

Wesleyan Mission at Port Philip, 1836 to 

1848, 4,538 8 9 













Total expense of Missions, . £17,917 13 If 

Protectorate at Port Philip, established 1838, 32,756 15 6| 

Cost of Blankets, &c, not included elsewhere, 9,74 6 14 7 \ 

Total Expense of the Aborigines, £60,421 3 4* 

* 30th June to 30th December, . . £1,170 1 9 

Making a total (exclusive of Police) of . £61,591 5 1 

One-half of the expense of Border Police, 
(usually considered to be on account of 
the Aborigines) 1839 to 30th June 1845, 44,954 5 6 

Total, £105,375 8 10 

Condition of the Aborigines of Australia. 37 

There is a Roman Catholic Mission at Stadbroke Island in More- 
ton Bay, where there are four Missionaries employed. This island 
is a band of sand about 20 miles long, and was selected as the site 
of a Mission in the hope that the barrenness of the spot might pre- 
vent its being settled on by the colonists. Parties have since settled 
there, however ; and the Pilot Station is on the island. The Wes- 
leyan Mission at Buntingdale, will be noticed hereafter. 

The Protectorate. — Missions to the Aborigines having proved 
unsuccessful, a generous effort was made by the British Government 
in the establishment, about eight years since, of the Port Philip 
Protectorate, by which it was intended to protect and provide for the 
considerable number of Aborigines scattered throughout the then 
newly colonized territory of Australia Felix. The Protectorate was 
established in conformity with instructions issued in 1838, under the 
Colonial Secretaryship of Lord Glenelg ; and owes its existence to 
the results of the inquiries of a Committee of the House of Commons, 
which sat in 1833—4, to ascertain what measures should be adopted 
for the general benefit of Aboriginal races in British Colonies. The 
district was accordingly sub-divided, and four sub-protectorate stations 
were occupied. 

According to general opinion in the colony, the Protectorate has 
entirely failed in the accomplishment of the objects for which it was 
benevolently intended. But some consideration is due to the opposite 
testimony of the Protectors themselves. They have been able in 
some decree to restrain the Aborigines from robberies and mutual 
warfare. Mr Robinson claims that they have demonstrated that 
large bodies of Aborigines may be associated together without injury 
to themselves or to Europeans. Mr Thomas attributes much of the 
harmony of his district to his continually moving about with the 
Aborigines, and settling their mutual disputes and the aggressions. 
They have doubtless been instrumental, within the sphere of their 
influence, in checking the practice on the part of the colonists of 
shooting or otherwise destroying the blacks, whom hunger or revenge 
had impelled to rob them, and whose lives w r ere frequently sacrificed 
on very slight pretexts. The inconvenient scrutiny whjch the Pro- 
tectors have exercised with reference to the commission of any violence 
upon the population placed under their care, is not to be ranked in the 
list of their non-efficiency. " Indeed, the virulent opposition evinced 
against the department, I am sure," says Mr Robinson, " must 
be considered rather as a proof of its efficiency than otherwise." 

In most other respects, however, the Port Philip Protectorate 
appears to have been equally unsuccessful with other experiments on 
the Aborigines ; one of the assistant Protectors himself honestly 
acknowledging, that though he cannot charge himself with dereliction 
of duty towards the Aborigines, to whom he has endeavoured to 
communicate religious truth, yet as far as regards his own exertions, 
no visible benefit has resulted. 

38 On the Condition and Prospects 

Mission at Buntingdale. — This Wesleyan Mission, which had in 
vain laboured to effect some change in the habits and religious senti- 
ments of the Aborigines, was within the last three years about to be 
abandoned as an unsuccessful attempt, when it occurred to the Rev. 
Mr Tuckfield, one of the missionaries, to try a new principle of 
management with these untractable tribes. This was simply to sepa- 
rate the different tribes, and maintain them distinct and isolated, 
alike from the white population, and from one another. Buntingdale 
is a retired spot about thirty-five miles to the south west of Geelong, 
and remote from any principal thoroughfare. Mr Tuckfield appears 
to have selected one of the tribes of that locality. There are at 
present (1845) about fifty Aborigines attached to that mission. 

Its Success. — The results of this experiment appear to have ex- 
ceeded expectation. The natives have remained on the place. Some 
of them have built slab huts for themselves ; others have made their 
own shirts and trousers. Some of the young men have become ex- 
pert at fencing, ploughing, reaping, &c. ; others have shepherded, 
washed, and shorn small flocks of sheep — contributions from neigh- 
bouring settlers. From these successful beginnings, Mr Dredge is 
so sanguine as to anticipate that the mission will ere long even more 
than defray its own expenses, and assist in the formation of other 

Plans and Alterations proposed. — Experience of plans, and more 
accurate knowledge of the habits and character of the Aborigines, 
have combined to give a somewhat definite and mutually accordant 
aspect to the methods that have latterly been suggested. The plan of 
the Protectorate appears to have been in error chiefly in the attempt 
to amalgamate different tribes, without respect to their long-standing 
mutual antipathies and prejudices. * It appears, indeed to be quite 
as necessary to separate and remove the respective tribes from one 
another, as to isolate the whole body from the whites. Mr Robinson 
admits, with reference to the Protectorate operations, that it is ques- 
tionable how far it may be advisable thus to congregate large num- 
bers of Aborigines, unless teachers, as originally intended by Govern- 
ment, were appointed to promote among them the knowledge and 
practice of Christianity. 

Mr Dredge recommends that Missions be established in each of 
the most numerous and powerful of the tribes; and that the location 
of the respective Missions be as remote as possible from purchased 
lands and squatting stations, and also from one another, so as to 

''• Mr Parker, Assistant Protector of Aborigines, denies that the principle of 
the Protectorate differs so essentially from that pursued at Buntingdale, as Mr 
Dredge makes it appear. All the difference Mr Parker can find is, that whereas 
as Mr Tuckfield's exertions are limited to fifty individuals ; there are from 250 
to 300 immediately connected with his own station, all of whom have been held 
together without any sacrifice of life, or even the occurrence of bloodshed. — 
1'arker, quoted by Robinson, 18. 

of the Aborigines of Australia. 39 

prevent the members of one tribe from mixing with those of another. 
Their mutual animosities are deep rooted and incurable. They should, 
therefore, be taken in hand tribe by tribe ; and not a tribe here and 
there, but at one and the same time, as those who are not in charge 
will decoy the others. 

Missions in the vicinity of squatting stations will not answer, on 
account of the many inducements presented to the natives to ramble 
from the establishment ; those planted far in the interior would, how- 
ever, require the assistance of a police force. 

There is undoubtedly more hope of success with the children than 
the grown-up blacks ; but it appears to be absolutely necessary to 
withdraw the former from association with their parents and the 
tribe. Little can be otherwise accomplished towards the improve- 
ment of their condition. " The boys are invariably practising to 
throw the spear and bomerang, and look forward with evident pleasure 
to the time when they may be permitted to join in a hunt or a fight ; 
the charms of both seem to be equal." Mr Robinson remarks, that, 
when out of their own districts, the Aborigines have been found ex- 
ceedingly tractable ; and he thinks that interchange of locality with 
those of Port Philip and the middle district would prove beneficial. 

Distributing of Clothing and Provisions. — It had been the practice 
of Government to distribute considerable numbers of blankets among 
the Aborigines ; but within the last two or three years this liberality 
had been much restricted, under an impression that the privilege 
was generally abused or disregarded by the blacks. One of the 
queries of the Committee's circular relates to this subject, and the 
evidence afforded by the answers is almost unanimously to the con- 
trary effect. The Aborigines have a strong partiality for blankets. 
They will patch and mend them to the last. Other descriptions of 
dress are passed about from one to another, and soon disappear ; 
and they have been known to make fires and burn very good clothes 
on leaving town. An oppossum rug has frequently been given in 
exchange for a blanket. 

In the Broulee district, blankets had been issued regularly since 
1837 up to last year (1844) ; and in expectation of the usual supply, 
the Aborigines of that district had made no suitable provision for 
winter, so that many old people perished in consequence. Mr Dunlop 
describes the plaintive but indignant remonstrance of the native chief 
at the discontinuance of the miserable dole on the part of the Govern- 
ment " to his very few old women and six young ones, all so cold — 
no hut, no blanket, no light fire on white fellow's ground. *' Women 
and children and old men are particularly objects for the distribution 
of blankets. In some instances the men are apt to barter them away 
for spirits or tobacco. Some of the witnesses considered that none 
who were able to work should get a blanket, without giving an equi- 
valent in labour. 

Captain Fyans, on the other hand, thinks they are sometimes the 

40 On the Condition, and Prospects 

occasion of riot and assassination, and had better not be distributed, 
or at least not without an equivalent in labour. Mr Wickham says, 
that blankets seldom remain long in their possession, and considers 
that a lonnr robe or shirt of blue cotton cloth would be more suitable. 


This garment would be more decent, and cost but a trifle. Count 
Strzelecki suggests the justice and humanity of supplying the wants 
of the Aborigines by a weekly simultaneous issue of rations of bread 
and meat. 

Legislation. — The present state of the criminal law with regard 
to the Aborigines is somewhat anomalous and oppressive. In the 
first place they are declared subjects of the British Crown, — an honour 
conferred without either their knowledge or concurrence, and which 
" it is verily believed they have never yet. been able to comprehend." 
Again, they are accountable to British laws for offences not only 
against the colonists, but also for those committed among themselves. 
They are at the same time legally disqualified from giving evidence 
in a court of justice ; a circumstance which, in Mr Robinson's opinion, 
has tended to accelerate the destruction of the Aborigines among the 
whites. Mr Thomas urges the necessity for some special law adapted 
to their case. Mr Powlett considers that native evidence, when 
strongly corroborated, might be permitted to go to a jury, to be re- 
ceived for what it might be thought worth. 

Count Strzelecki reflects upon the anomalous nature of the whole 
policy pursued by the government towards the Aborigines. He con- 
siders they should have been placed more directly under the public 
authorities, have been supplied with food, and have been declared a 
conquered race, to render their actual position intelligible to them- 

Mr Parker recommends some stringent enactments to prevent the 
prostitution of the native women by the labouring population. He 
is convinced, from minute inquiry on the subject, that this is the 
most frequent cause of Aboriginal outrages. 

At Swan River, an island is appointed exclusively for Aboriginal 
criminals ; and according to the reports of the Rotnest establishment, 
the best results have been realised.* 

Suitable Agents. — Mr Dredge strongly contends that the Christian 
missionary is the only qualified party to civilise the Aborigines. 
Suitable agents should be supplied by the church, a term he would 
by no means use in a sectarian or exclusive sense. 

* In consequence of incessant mutual hostility between the Aborigines and 
the colonists of Van Diemen's Land, the entire body of the former were hunted 
out and removed, in the year 1835, to Flinder's Island, in Bass's Straits, where 
the miserable remnant still resides. They numbered 210 on their first arrival, 
but in 1842, when Count Strzelecki visited the island, they were reduced to 
54. There had been only 14 children born during eight years.— {Strzelecki, 
pj). 352-5.; 

of the A borigines of A us tra lia . 4 1 

10. Prospects for Aboriginal Civilisation. 

If the prospects of the Aborigines with reference to civilisation 
are to be estimated by what has hitherto been accomplished, they 
are miserable indeed. The difference of opinion that prevails on 
this subject can scarcely relate to the actual results of the past, which 
have been so uniformly unfortunate ; it is due rather to theoretical 
deductions connected with views and principles of religion. 

Mr Dredo-e contends that Christianisation must be the pioneer and 
parent of civilisation, and jthat all attempts to reverse this process 
must fail, and always have failed. " The degradation and moral 
wretchedness of the heathen are the sad and direful results of moral 
and spiritual causes ; and for their removal the only adequate and 
appointed instrument is the Gospel, the spirit of Christianity." He 
then exhibits the various steps that will be successively taken by 
these heathens, after the Gospel has begun to operate on their minds, 
concluding that " it can thus be clearly demonstrated that vital heart- 
felt Christianity, truly embraced and spiritually enjoyed, develops 
the only plan for emancipating the heathen from their moral thral- 

But judging from past and present experience, these applications 
of the abstract truths of religion are probably little adapted to forward 
practically the cause of Aboriginal civilisation. In opposition, also, 
to the usual views that, the teaching of religion should precede all 
other modes of civilisation, Count Strzelecki remarks that the 
Aborigines' institutions being as it were sapped by the preaching of 
Christianity among them, some civil organisation should have pre- 
ceded the new faith. But he conceives very slender hopes as to any 
ultimate good that may result to the Aborigines, from these attempts 
to initiate them into feelings and habits so widely different from their 
own. " From what has been observed of the two races, one may 
affirm, without fear of contradiction, that it will be easier to bring 
the whites down to the level of the blacks, than to raise the latter to 
the ideas and habits of our race" 

The Australian savage has been suited to the circumstances which 
surround him. In these he is seen healthful and contented, " securing 
all the worldly happiness and enjoyment of which his condition is 
capable. 1 ' But this economy has been disturbed by the arrival of 
Europeans. He can neither stem the inpouring torrent, nor imbibe 
the civilisation that is offered him ; he retreats, and finally disappears. 
Amidst the wrecks of schemes, says the traveller with pathetic elo- 
quence, there remains yet one to be adopted for the benefit of the 
Aborigines — to listen and attend to the last wishes of the departed, 

* Mr Parker speaks to the same effect, adding, that he is well assured there 
is nothing either in the nature of true religion, or the capacity of the Abori- 
ginal intellect to exclude this race from a full participation of its benefits. — 
{Extracts in Robinson's Replies, 18.) 

42 On the Condition and Prospects 

and to the voice of the remaining few : — " Leave us to our habits 
and customs ; do not embitter the days which are in store for us, 
by constraining us to obey yours ; nor reproach us with apathy to 
that civilisation which is not destined for us." 

11. General Review. 

Regard the Aboriginal Australian, as he now appears, surrounded 
by civilised man. Behold him a wandering outcast ; existing, ap- 
parently, without motives and without objects ; a burden to himself, 
a useless cumberer of the ground ! Does he not seem pre-eminently 
a special mystery in the designs of Providence, an excrescence, as 
it were, upon the smooth face of nature, which is excused and abated 
only by the resistless haste with which he disappears from the land 
of his forefathers ? Barbarous, unreflecting, and superstitious, how 
strangely contrasted is an object so obnoxious and so useless, with 
the brightness of a southern sky, and the pastoral beauty of an Aus- 
tralian landscape. 

Such are the reflections that will naturally occupy the mind of 
the passing observer, after a cursory glance at the wandering tribes 
of Australia. But the arrangements of Providence for the benefit 
of the great and varied family of mankind, should not be studied 
in accordance with one uniform standard of customs and institu- 
tions. The instinctive and mental faculties peculiar to each race, 
though widely different one from another, may yet exist in perfect 
accordance with the circumstances by which each is surrounded. 
To the philosophic traveller who beholds the Aboriginal native in 
his yet uninvaded haunts, and remarks his health, his cheerfulness, 
his content, his freedom from anxieties and cares, few spectacles can 
be more gratifying •* and he readily admits that the broad and beaten 
tract of civilisation is by no means the only road which the Creator 
has left open to man for the attainment of happiness. 

These mutual relations have been destroyed by the approach of 
civilised man. In his irresistible progress he has either driven off 
the Aboriginal tribes, or subdued their native spirit, and subverted 
their social polity. Their peculiar habits and ideas, the result of 
physical and psycological laws operating throughout many successive 
generations, are permanently engrafted in their constitution, and are 
not to be eradicated without the long continued use of counteracting 
moral and physical appliances, involving a far greater lapse of time 
than is usually considered necessary in the estimate of the philan- 
thropist or the missionary. 

Deeply feeling the alien occupation of their country, yet their 
savage arts are utterly powerless against the arms and authority of 

* Strzelecki, pp. 338, 342, 343, where he describes the real enjoyment of 
existence among the Aborigines after their own fashon — now moving about, 
hunting, fishing, with occasional war, alternated by feasting, and lounging on 
the spots best adapted to repose. 

of the Aborigines of Australia. 43 

their opponents. The prostration of spirit, the listless indifference 
of the Aboriginal mind, are the natural result of this relative position 
to the whites. The Aboriginal native, widely different in his habits 
and pursuits, is unable to rise to a comprehension of the actions, 
motives, and principles that compose the structure of civilisation. 
Simple in his ideas, his griefs are evanescent, and he is in general 
cheerful, and even docile and gentle. The vicinity of civilised man 
acts, after a time, like a powerful spell upon his conduct ; but the 
mind remains radically .unchanged ; and when he again returns to 
the security and undisturbed solitude of his native wilds, this in- 
fluence is quickly counteracted and thrown off. 

All efforts to civilise and Christianise the Aborigines have hitherto 
proved singularly abortive. True, indeed, as might be anticipated, 
the management of the young children presents fewer difficulties than 
that of the adult natives. There is also with Aboriginal tribes, as 
with civilised nations, a conspicuous diversity of individual character. 
They are not all equally fierce or barbarous, or untractable ; and 
the dark phalanx is occasionally relieved by the advance of some 
solitary member, whose comparative aptitude and docility have too 
readily stimulated the anticipations of sanguine and zealous minds. 

But the care and diligence of the missionary, though they cannot 
convert the mind of the Australian savage, may yet tame and subdue 
his spirit ; and by removing, as far as practicable, every known in- 
ducement to his barbarous customs and wandering habits, maintain 
him at least in quietness, without injury to himself or the colonists. 
Isolation and solitude, the total absence of hostile tribes, the pe- 
riodical and regular supply of food at the missions or stations ; all 
these circumstances, so different from those in which his habits have 
been moulded, must gradually weaken that stimulus which gives a 
zest and pleasure to his erratic and turbulent existence. The savage 
is deprived of much of the enjoyment congenial to his disposition. 
But his primitive manner of life is no longer attainable in the present 
circumstances of the colony. His country has been occupied by a 
race, whose habits and customs, and daily avocations of life, are to 
him alike unenticing, irksome, and monotonous, destitute of visible 
motive or of adequate results. He has neither the desire nor the 
capacity to associate with the whites ; and when he would retreat 
from their blighting presence, into territories still uninvaded in the 
progress of colonisation, he is repulsed by other tribes of his own 
race, who already occupy the locality to which he might retire. His 
lot is truly hard and unfortunate. The tranquillity of an Australian 
savage is not that of enjoyment, but rather of quiescence and torpor. 
The restraints and deprivations to which, in the attempt to reclaim 
his mind and habits, it is sought to subject him, are to be excused 
and justified only in the view, that they are the means of avoiding 
still greater impending evils. 

All projects for the civilisation of the Aborigines should be framed 

44: On the Condition and Prospects 

in consonance with the view that in other circumstances than the 
present, (that is, in the previously undisturbed condition of these 
tribes,) these appliances for their behoof would be a positive injury 
and injustice. To remove the Australian savage from all intercourse, 
whether amicable or otherwise, with other tribes, to anticipate, by 
a gratuitous supply of food, the necessity for his accustomed corporeal 
and mental exertion, are simply to undermine the chief sources of 
the variety, excitement, and happiness of which his existence is sus- 
ceptible. In the moral and physical condition, in which the Aboriginal 
Australian has been placed, even the mutual wars of the tribes must 
not be overlooked, as incorporated with those various adaptations by 
which the energy and activity of the mind and body are duly maintained. 
It is indeed only considerations of a different and a higher character 
than the mere miseries, great as these may often be, that immediately 
result from war, that will eventually banish such scenes from the 
catalogue of human affairs. 

In all localities where the Aborigines are peaceably conducted, and 
contrive to pick up a subsistence sufficient for their wants, it appears 
advisable to leave them to themselves. In places where the sources 
of their support are diminished, the women and old men, or, if 
necessary, all the individuals of the tribe, should be regularly and 
simultaneously supplied with weekly rations of bread and meat.* 

All the women and old men, otherwise unprovided for, should be 
supplied at stated intervals with blankets : to the children may be 
given the long robe or shirt of blue cotton cloth recommended by 
Mr Wickham. It cannot, indeed, be considered too great a stretch of 
generosity on the part of the Colonial Government to supply blankets, 
at stated intervals, to all Aborigines applying for and properly using 
them, whose territories have been occupied by the Colonists. 

Some degree of success may undoubtedly be anticipated in the train- 
ing of the Aboriginal children, particularly where they can be separated 
from their parents and tribes. On this principle, the present Ab- 
original School is conducted at the Merri Creek, near Melbourne, 
under charge of Mr Peacock. It now contains 14 boys and 7 girls. 
As its existence dates only from the end of last year, the result of 
the experiment cannot as yet be decided on ; but the prospects appear 
favourable. The children are noways deficient in ability in learn- 
ing to read. 

The experiment of Mr Tuckfield, at Buntingdale, may also be 
regarded as successful ; namely, that of isolating a single tribe of 
Aborigines upon a reserve of ground, and separating its members 

* Tribes which are inclined to be turbulent, are probably best kept in check 
by a force of Aboriginal police. In the Port PhUqy Herald, of the 30th of 
.) une 1846, an estimate is made of the expense of the Native Police (Aborigines), 
as compared with that of the Border Police (Colonists), each of the former cost- 
ing annually £36, 14s. 4d. ; each of the latter £53, 7s. If the native Police, 
therefore, continue to give the same satisfaction as heretofore, there is every 
inducement to employ the Aborigines in this capacity. 

of the Aborigines of Australia. 45 

alike from those of other tribes, and from the colonists, and engaging 
the various individuals in useful, active, and self-supporting occu- 

The means of support should be extended by the Government to 
each of such descriptions of schools or missions, both by conditional 
grants of land, and by the assistance of money or rations. Where 
a locality has been thickly settled with squatting stations, it is indeed 
highly desirable that the scattered remnants of surviving tribes 
should if possible be transferred to the care of the missionary. In 
such localities, the Aborigines usually wander about, either begging 
from or plundering the settlers, and with but little scope or stimulus 
for the exercise of their primitive manner of life. At the missionary 
reserve, on the other hand, they would be secured from the disease 
and dissipation to which their restless habits continually expose them. 

The plan of the Protectorate is unsuited to the case of the Ab- 
origines, from the circumstance of the mutual distrust and animosity 
of the tribes. Another mistake, and of a more evident character, 
has also been made in committing to the accidents of a civil appoint- 
ment the responsible and laborious duties attending the work of 
Christianising and civilising the Aborigines. The. exalted motives, 
strength, and perseverance of religious zeal, form, generally speak- 
ing, the only efficient agent in such a work.* It appears desirable, 
however, except in particular instances, and in the case of the native 
children, to leave the Aborigines, as far as circumstances will permit, 
to the free enjoyment of their own mode of life. Interference should 
be the exception, not the rule, and the apparatus of the Protectorate 
appears to be no longer necessary. In other respects this establish- 
ment might perhaps have been continued with advantage under a 
modified form. The heavy expenses attending it were unavoidable, 
under any practical arrangements for the civilisation and maintenance 
of large bodies of the Aborigines. 

Such of the natives as were not under the special care of mis- 
sionaries, or employed by the colonists, might be nominally under 
charge of the Crown Land Commissioners, who should furnish 
periodical reports on the numbers and condition of the Aborigines 
in their respective districts. The services of a few of the magistrates 
residing in different parts of the colony might be made available for the 
occasional distribution of such provisions and clothing as the neighbour- 
ing tribes might be considered to require.f — {Vide Westgarth on the 
Condition and Prospects of the Aborigines of Australia, in Journal 
of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, vol. v. p. 704.) 

* From the evidence given by the two present assistant Protectors, Messrs 
Parker and Thomas, it is very apparent that they have been actuated in their 
labours by a missionary spirit, and stimulated by religious zeal. They have in 
fact been missionaries, operating on an extensive scale. 

t These remarks are intended to apply to the Port Philip District only, 
which is best known to the writer. 


J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 


oo £ 

■s 1 

1 I 

^ 02 

*/ r-H 

$5 o 

I*. 02 

£ <! 

° go 

% < 

§ p* 

°=> rv" 


£ H 

r^> r^ 

e ^ 




^ fe 






CM rH rH 

* Max. and Min. uncorrected. t Max. and Min. corrected. 




6 C co 
p,0 bo 

r» d i* 


co ' rHcf^ebcbebcbcfirHrHO 


+i 03 
<S r>l 

> rf 

0\r-lr-lt-4r-lr-4f—li-~< CM rH rH 






H< CM O 
t^ CO 

e* a g 

w 0<>0 00H>OnO00NCflN00 















i& vp C0»O > »O»O # iO»O 

o rHi^cbcbcbcMOcbcbcbocb 


© VO CO 
O CM cb 



„ (NHKioocboio^wcSw 














o o «o IO 


T 1 *P *i- 

ib co cb 


CO vo # ^ »o »o 

• NO^OCDM-it^fflMOilN 



H H 

$ ° 

O o 

Q a 

Q « 

"5 ° 
•< w 

H « 

co « 




£rHrHrH* 'iHrHrHrHrHr^-l 


sure of 




of Va- 



rH OS rH 





§ J? 
2 S 






o 5 ft- 



•h CN CM CN Ol CM C-l (>J CM CO <M OJ CO 





M <M O^ CN CM CM OX Ol CN CM OJ 0\ <M 





30 381 


^3 ,-H 

§ * * 52 §33 ^ « 

% -r-H— 

rH O OS 

CO 00 00 

rH r^ r-i 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 





OOtMi^^O— l H (>l ip >0 M ^ 

° rHchcbebck^oiibobobcb© 





o b-HHcbibibcbcbrHOibciib 


ip J>. C* © 

&> O) Ci rH 

co co co *» 


° ....... 

o cbcbrHcblbOH^lbobcbc^^ 

rH i-H rH rH 

io © © C^ 

^>ON © 

oo oo oo a 

















b- Jb- 6s do *>• l> 


O u 




IO Cq rH 
r-H O rH 

»b 10' cb 





VO IO , IO IO IO »p # M5 


rH rH <N rH At rH 

O U 

IO IO io 10 f 
° rHrH©iHrH©iH©©©C<I© 

00 CO 

6 6 rH 





io ^ ip ip io io io ip ip # 

CO <N -* © tH CO 

cb 10 00 »b 10 h< 


io co io # ^ io io # io # h< oo 
o obosb-rHibc<ii>.ocboboj<n 

HHH rH rH rH rH 

CO J^ O 
O © H< 
rH r-H rH 



















° rHGq<NcbcbOlfHO0|H<(NrHCq 

CO 00 00 
co t^ a> 
c^ cq cni 





00 <N O J>- CJ5 

cb cb ib ib ib 



O u 


o 4t(<NH<cb6i»b6i6icbcba^H^ 



4 feet 
above the 




CO © rH !>. IO 
Hj* H< H< CO CO 











»p »0 # »0 iO iO 

CO 00 00 Ol O rH 

cb 00 cb 

Ctf <M rH OJ CM CNI 


S3 » 

*? *? »o _ »p 00 CO 
o H^H<ebcbcbibi^oi>baiaioo 


© »o 
i^ cb cb 

CN (M Gs| 

4 feet 

ip no uo ip 


ib cb cb <?q cb cb 



Ilil#I#f 111 J 

r-To"Oi OO^nTco" 
lOO ^ •* HJt(< 
00 00 00 00 00 00 
rH rH rH rH r-t rH 


J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

Dry Bdlb. 

Wet Bulb. 


ed Dew 

Weight of 
Vapour in 

for satura- 



a Cubic 
Foot of 

tion of a 
Cubic Foot 

9 a.m. 

3 P.M. 

9 A.M. 

3 P.M. 

9 a.m. 

3 p.m. 


of Air. 












































































































































January. — The wettest on record at this place. Those months 
which approach the nearest to January 1851 in point of wetness 
during the last nineteen years, are December 1833, January 1834, 
and July 1846, in each of which the fall of rain slightly exceeded 
9 inches. At Scathwaite in Borrowdale, the fall was 28*63 inches, 
and on the " Stye'' it amounted to no less than 38-86 inches, by 
far the greatest quantity ever measured in the same period in Great 

The mean temperature is 4°-66 above the average of the preced- 
ing eighteen years. 

February. — Wet till the 19th; fine and clear during the re- 
mainder of the month. Mean temperature, 2 o, 09 above the average. 
During January and February, the thermometer reached the freez- 
ing point on two nights only. 

March. — Mild, with an unusual absence of easterly winds. 
Temperature 1°*87 above the average. 

The temperature of the quarter ending March 31, is 2°-87 
above the average. 

The deaths in the town and suburb of Preston Quarter, are 155, 
beino- three above the calculated average of the preceding twelve 
years, allowing for increase in population. 

April. — A very fine, but somewhat cold month. Sun shone out 
more or less on 29 days. Mean temperature, 0°*57 below the 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 49 

Swallows were seen at St Bees on the 9th, and in the immediate 
neighbourhood of this town, on the 20th. On the 23d, the Cuckoo 
was heard in various parts of the Lake District. 

On the 18th, at 6.30 p.m., a magnificent triple rainbow with 
gorgeous colours. On the 27th, about 10.5 p.m., being in the Ob- 
servatory, my attention was attracted by a sudden blaze of light 
illuminating the sky, and on reaching the open air, I perceived a 
very large comet-shaped meteor proceeding from the head of Draco 
through Cassiopeia, but I did not see it more than a couple of 
seconds. The meteor greatly resembled a rocket ; its body might 
be 1^ degrees in length, and it was followed by a long and brilliant 
train of bluish coloured sparks. I am told that when first seen, it 
resembled an ordinary shooting-star. The light of the meteor ex- 
ceeded that of the full moon, and I feel assured, moderate sized 
print might have been read by it. It was seen at 10 p.m. in the 
neighbourhood of Manchester, Rochdale, and other places. "It pro- 
ceeded in (query ? from) a south-easterly direction, and, to the eye, the 
luminous appendage appeared to be twenty yards in length ; it was 
followed by repeated flashes of lightning. 1 ' 

Frequent showers of hail and snow during the latter part of the 
month ; and on the 28th, the Ennerdale mountains were as thickly 
covered with snow as at any time during the winter. 

May. — A fine and dry, but ungenial month. Temperature, 
2°'13 below the average of the previous eighteen years. On the 
3d and 4th, the ground was covered with hail. 

June. — Cold and wet till the 26th, which, with one exception, 
was the first really warm and summer like day in 1851. On 
the 27th, the maximum of the thermometer rose from 65° to 77°; 
and on the 28th, 29th, and 30th, it reached 82°, 83°'5, and 79°, 
respectively ; and these were the three hottest days during the 
season. Temperature, 1 0, 52 under the average. On the morning 
of the 5th, there was frost in Gosforth, and snow on the Enner- 
dale mountains. All the mountains visible from Keswick were 
likewise covered with snow. On the 5th, at 4 p.m., there was a 
smart hail shower at Whitehaven, which measured *04 in the Plu- 

During the month, five parhelia and four solar halos were seen. 
On the 11th, between 7 and 7-30 p.m., a solar halo and two par- 
helia were seen at Whitehaven. The sun was surrounded by a ring 
or halo of a reddish tinge, which intersected two bright spots or 
discs, one to the right, the other to the left. The parhelion to the 
left or west side of the sun was somewhat fainter than its com- 
panion, the cloud being more dense in that direction. Altogether, 
the phenomenon was visible twenty minutes or upwards. 

On the evening of the 1 3th, about half-past 6 o'clock, two very 
beautiful parhelia were seen by Isaac Fletcher, Esq., from the village 
of Eaglesfield. The parhelia appeared on each side of the true sun 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVII. — JANUARY 1853. 1) 

50 J. F. Miller, Esq., on the 

at a distance of about 23°, and the diffused light in their vicinity 
was slightly prismatic. A line drawn through the three luminous 
discs was not parallel to the horizon, but slightly inclined upwards 
towards the north. The northern parhelion had attached to it a 
bush of light, 3° or 4° in length, which tended upwards, and evidently 
formed a segment of a circle, which, if complete, would have had 
the sun for its centre, whilst the southern parhelion had a similar 
luminous appendage of about the same size, stretching downwards, 
and which, doubtless, was another segment of the same circle. 
Nearly a quarter of an hour elapsed before the phenomenon en- 
tirely disappeared. On the evening of the 26th, between 6 and 
6.30 p.m., a similar, but much less perfect exhibition of parhelia 
was noticed by the writer at Whitehaven. 

On the night of the 22d, about 10 p.m., when in the Obser- 
vatory, my attention was directed to a singular white serpentine 
cloud in the NNW., at an altitude of about 15°. The cloud was 
luminous, and white as frosted silver. Between it and the horizon, 
separated by blue sky, were two inky black cirrostrati in strong 
contrast. The luminous cloud was visible about fifteen minutes. 
The sky was generally clear, and, at midnight, it was perfectly 
cloudless, but there was no trace of aurora or other visible cause for 
the appearance, though it was probably of electric origin. 

June 16. A field of hay in cock near Workington; 28th, first 
cast of bees ; 30th, met with glow-worms in Borrowdale. 

The temperature of the quarter ending June 30th, is l o, 40 below 
the average. The deaths are 39 below the corrected average num- 
ber, which is 124. 

July, — Temperature l o, 06 under the average. 

On the morning of the 4th, ice of the thickness of half-a-cro wn 
was found on the glass of the hotbeds in Holm Rook gardens. The 
potatoes in the neighbourhood were completely blackened by the 
severity of the frost. Similar accounts have reached us from Ulver- 
stone, and various places in this vicinity. 

Three solar halos were seen during the month. 

August. — Temperature o, 72 above the average of 18 years. 

Several bright meteors or falling stars were noticed ; one on the 
evening of the 8th conveyed the impression of such extreme proximity 
as to resemble a spark from a distant chimney. The grain har- 
vest commenced in this neighbourhood on the 26th. Several fields 
near Egremont, and one at Distington, are already cut. 

September. — A beautifully fine month ; very heavy dews at night. 
Temperature 0°*63 under the average. On the 5th, the tempera- 
ture fell 20°- 5 in 10 hours, and between the 24th and 25th at 3 
p.m., 18° in 24 hours. During the nights of the 28th and 29th, a 
naked thermometer on wool, exposed on a grass-plot, fell 21°-5 
below the temperature of the air at 4 feet above the ground. The 
terrestrial radiation is now at a maximum. 

Meteorology of Whitehaven. 51 

On the 25th, the Borrowdale mountains were capped with snow. 

The temperature of the quarter ending September 30, is o, 32 
below the average. The deaths in the town and suburb are 92, 
being 30 beloiv the average number. 

October. — Mild and wet. Temperature 2°*77 above the ave- 
rage. Aurorse on the nights of the 1st and 2d; the latter covered 
three-fourths of the sky, and it was particularly noticed that the 
streamers did not generally emanate from the horizon, but at vari- 
ous altitudes above it. One very bright streamer appeared to pro- 
ceed from Arided, and shot beyond the zenith. A still more 
splendid aurora occurred on the night of the 1st October 1850, 
which is described in my report for that year, published in this 

On the 24th ; a very singular irridescent phenomenon was witnessed 
on Windermere Lake, but as the. description of it would occupy too 
much space in this report, it will probably form the subject of a 
separate paper. 

November. — The coldest November on record at this place. The 
temperature is 4 0, 32 below the average, and a naked thermometer 
exposed on a grass-plot, fell below the freezing point on 21 nights. 

December. — A mild but exceedingly dull and damp month. The 
air was nearly saturated with moisture, yet the rain-fall did not 
exceed 1-67 inches. The solar rays pierced through the thick 
stratum of cloud on 1 1 days only. 

The mean temperature of the last quarter of 1851 is nearly 
coincident with the average of the preceding 18 years. The deaths 
are 120, or 15 under the average number. 

Winds. — In 1851 the winds have been distributed as under: — 

N., 25 days: NE., 52 days; E., 19£ days; SE., 23^ days; 
S., 69 days; SW., 89 days; W., 27 days, and NW., 60 days. 

Weather. — In the past year, there have been 19 perfectly clear 
days; 195 wet days ; 151 cloudy without rain ; 276 days on which 
the sun shone out more or less ; 22 days of frost ; 5 snow showers, 
and 13 days on which hail fell. There have also been 9 solar and 4 
lunar halos ; 5 parhelia ; 1 day of thunder and lightning ; 5 days 
of thunder without lightning; 1 day of lightning without thunder; 
and 13 exhibitions of the aurora borealis. 

The mean temperature of the year 1851 is about a quarter of a 
degree above the average of 18 years, and the fall of rain is 3*83 
inches under the mean annual quantity. 

The deaths in 1851 are 452, being 82, or 18 per cent, under 
the average number ; the births exceed the deaths by 285, and are 
72 above the average of the preceding 12 years, from 1839 to 1850 

The mortality in the town and suburb in 1851, with a population 
of 19,281, is equivalent to 23*4 deaths per thousand, or 1 death 
in every 42*6 inhabitants. 

D 2 

52 Sir R. I. Murchison on the 

The average number of deaths in the 12 years ending with 1850, 
is 503, which, with an assumed population of 18,143, gives 27*7 
deaths per thousand, or 1 death in every 36 persons. 

In 1846, 1847, and 1848 (assumed average population, 18,329), 
the mean annual number is 694, being 37'8 deaths per thousand, 
or one in every 26*4 inhabitants, in those exceedingly fatal years. 

In 1849, the mortality is equivalent to 32*2 deaths per thousand, 
or 1 in every 31 persons ; and in 1850, to 24*9 deaths per thou- 
sand, or 1 in every 40 inhabitants. The improvement in the sani- 
tary condition of Whitehaven during the last two years is very striking, 
and is probably to be attributed, in a great measure, to the abun- 
dance and cheapness of food, and to the copious supply of pure water 
conveyed to the town from Ennerdale Lake. 

Observatory, Whitehaven^ 
November 6, 1852. 

On the Basin-like Form of Africa. By Sir R. I. Murchison, 
late President of the Geographical Society. 

Geographers will be gratified to learn that a map of South 
Africa, compiled by our learned associate Mr Cooley, and 
extending from the equator to 19° S. latitude, is about to 
appear under the execution of Mr Arrowsmith. With such 
a valuable document, and with the map of the whole of the 
Cape Colony, we shall soon have before us a general sketch 
of the physical features of a large portion of this quarter of 
the globe. So much, however, has our knowledge increased 
by the valuable original map of the Cape Colony made upon 
the spot by Mr Hall (of which Mr Arrowsmith is preparing 
a reduction), that we are, as I will now endeavour to shew, 
almost entitled to speculate on the prevailing structure of 
Africa being similar to that of its southernmost extremity. 

In support of the general view to which I now call your 
attention, I must state that it has been suggested to my 
mind by the explanation of the geological phenomena of the 
Cape Colony by Mr A. Bain. This modest but resolute 
man, having been for many years a road-surveyor in the 
colony, had, in all his excursions, collected specimens of the 
rocks and their organic remains ; and, gradually making 
himself acquainted with the true principles of geology, ho 

Basin- like Form of Africa. 53 

has at length traced the different formations, and delineated 
them on the above-mentioned map. In this way he has 
shewn us that the oldest rocks (whether crystalline gneiss or 
clay-slate, here and there penetrated by granite) form a 
broken coast fringe around the colony, from the southern to 
its western and eastern shores, and are surmounted by sand- 
stones which, from the fossils they contain, are the equiva- 
lents of the Silurian or oldest fossil-bearing rocks.* These 
primeval strata, occupying the higher grounds, of which the 
Table Mountain is an example, and dipping inland from all 
sides, are overlaid by carboniferous strata, in which, if no 
good coal has yet been found, it is clear that its true place 
is ascertained ; and as Mr Bain has detected many species 
of fossil plants of that age, we may still find the mineral 
pabulum for the steamers which frequent these coasts. 

Above all these ancient strata, and occupying, therefore, 
a great central trough or basin, strata occur which are 
rentarkable from being charged with terrestrial and fresh- 
water remains only ; and it is in a portion of this great ac- 
cumulation that Mr Bain disinterred fossil bones of most 
peculiar quadrupeds. One of the types of these, which Pro- 
fessor Owen named Bicynodon from its bidental upper jaw, 
is a representative, during a remote secondary period, of the 
lacertine associates of the hippopotami of the present lakes 
and waters. The contemplation of this map has, therefore, 
led me to point out to you how wide is the field of thought 
which the labours of one hard-working geologist have given 
rise to, and to express, on my part, how truly we ought to 
recognise the merits of the pioneer among the rocks, who 
enables us, however inadequately, to speculate upon the 
entirely new and grand geographical phenomenon, that such 
as South Africa is now, such have been her main features 
during countless past ages, anterior to the creation of the 
human race. For the old rocks which form her outer fringe, 
unquestionably circled round an interior marshy or lacustrine 
country, in which the Dicynodon flourished at a time, when 

Mr Bain himself so styles these rocks in the Map deposited in the Library 
of the Geological Society. 

54 Sir R. I. Murchison on the 

not a single animal was similar to any living thing which 
now inhabits the surface of our globe. The present central 
and meridian zone of waters, whether lakes, rivers, or 
marshes, extending from Lake Tchad to Lake Ngami, with 
hippopotami on their banks, are, therefore, but the great 
modern, residual, geographical phenomena of those of a 
mesozoic age. The differences, however, between the geo- 
logical past of Africa and her present state are enormous. 
Since that primeval time the lands have been much elevated 
above the sea-level — eruptive rocks piercing in parts through 
them ; deep rents and denies have been suddenly formed in 
the subtending ridges, through which some rivers escape 
outwards, whilst others flowing inwards are lost in the in- 
terior sands and lakes ; and with those great ancient changes 
entirely new races have been created. 

Travellers will eventually ascertain whether the basin- 
shaped structure, which is here announced as having been 
the great feature of the most ancient, as it is of the actual 
geography of Southern Africa (i. e. from primeval times to 
the present day), does or does not extend into Northern 
Africa. Looking at that much broader portion of the con- 
tinent, we have some reason to surmise, that the higher 
mountains also form, in a general sense, its flanks only. 
Thus, wherever the sources of the Nile may ultimately be 
fixed and defined, we are now pretty well assured that they 
lie in lofty mountains at no great distance from the east 
coast. In the absence of adequate data, we are not yet en- 
titled to speculate too confidently on the true sources of the 
White Nile ; but, judging from the observations of the mis- 
sionaries Krapf and Rebmann, and the position of the snow- 
capped mountains called KilmanjaroandKenin (only distant 
from the eastern sea about 300 miles), it may be said that 
there is no exploration in Africa, to which greater value 
would be attached than an ascent of them from the east 
coast, possibly from near Mombas. The adventurous tra- 
vellers who shall first lay down the true position of these 
equatorial snowy mountains, to which Dr Beke has often 
directed public attention, and who shall satisfy us that they 
not only throw off the waters of the White Nile to the north, 

Basin-like Form of Africa. 55 

but some to the east, and will further answer the query, 
whether they may not also shed off other streams to a great 
lacustrine and sandy interior of this continent, will be justly 
considered among the greatest benefactors of this age to 
geographical science ! 

The great east and west range of the Atlas, which in a 
similar general sense forms the northern frontier of Africa, 
is, indeed, already known to be composed of primeval strata 
and eruptive rocks, like those which encircle the Cape Colony 
on the south, and is equally fissured by transverse rents. As 
to the hills which fringe the west coast, and through aper- 
tures of which the Niger and the Gambia escape, we have 
yet to learn if they are representatives of similar ancient 
rocks, and thus complete the analogy of Northern with 
Southern Africa. But I venture to throw out the general 
suggestion of an original basin-like arrangement of all 
Africa, through the existence of a grand encircling girdle of 
the older rocks, which, though exhibited at certain distances 
from her present shores, is still external, as regards her 
vast interior. 

Let me, therefore, impress on all travellers who may visit 
any part of Africa, that their researches will always be much 
increased in value, if they bring away with them (as I have 
just learned that Mr Oswell has done) the smallest speci- 
mens of rocks containing fossil organic remains, and will 
note the general direction and inclination of the strata. 

"With no region of the old world have we been till very 
lately so ill acquainted as Africa. But now the light is 
dawning quickly upon us from all sides ; and in the genera- 
tion which follows, I have no doubt that many of the links 
in the chain of inductive reasoning, as to the history of the 
successively lost races of that part of the globe, will be made 
known, from the earliest recognisable zones of animal life, 
through the secondary and tertiary periods of geologists. 
Passing thence to the creation of mankind and to the subse- 
quent accumulations of the great delta of the Nile, we have 
recently been put in the way of learning what has been the 
amount of wear and tear of the upland or granitic rocks, and 
what the additions to the great alluvial plain of Lower 

56 Professor Horsford on the 

Egypt, since man inhabited that almost holy region, and 
erected in it some of his earliest monuments.* But how 
long will it be before we shall be able to calculate backwards 
by our finite measure of time, to those remote periods, in 
which some of the greatest physical features of this con- 
tinent were impressed upon it, when the lofty mountains 
from which the Nile flows were elevated, and when the 
centre of Africa (certainly all its southern portion) was a 
great lacustrine jungle, inhabited by the Dicynodon and 
other lost races of animals? — (Vide Address at the Anni- 
versary Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society, 1852.) 

Solidification of the Rocks of the Florida Reefs, and the 

Sources of Lime in the Growth of Corals. By Professor 

Horsford, of Harvard. 

I. It is required to ascertain by what processes, chemical 
or mechanical, or both chemical and mechanical, the surface 
and the submerged coral rocks have become hardened. 

By the surface rock is intended that thin brown crust, com- 
posed of numerous layers, which is distinguished by great 
compactness, and a peculiar ring, when, in detached condi- 
tion, it is struck by a hammer, and which occurs on the ab- 
rupt ocean side, and more abundantly on the long slopes on 
the land side of the Keys. 

By the submerged rock, is intended the rock of oolitic ap- 
pearance which has solidified under water, and which is of 
inferior hardness to the surface rock. 

The surface rock, so called, has, in many place?, no longer 
the outermost position, though it had at the time of its for- 
mation. It is, indeed, interstratified with friable light colour- 
ed limestone. The epithet indicates the circumstances of its 
formation, not its present position. 

* See the account of the instructive suggestions of my friend Mr Leonard 
Horner, to ascertain the amount of the successive deposits in the Lower Valley 
of the Nile, as given in Jameson's Edinburgh Philosophical Journal of July 
1850. Mr Horner informs me that the researches are now going on vigorously 
on the site of Memphis, having been already applied to the site of Heliopolis, 
our Consul-General in Egypt, the Hon. C. Murray, taking a lively interest in 
their progress. 

Rocks of the Florida Beefs. 57 

1. We are familiar with the fact that a mixture of quick- 
lime, water and sand, spread out upon walls and ceilings ex- 
posed to an atmosphere containing more or less of carbonic 
acid, in a few days becomes hard. Analyses have shewn that 
two chemical phenomena are concerned in the solidification, 
to wit — the absorption of carbonic acid from the air, forming 
carbonate of lime (which salt, uniting in equivalent propor- 
tions with the hydrate, forms, according to Fuchs, a com- 
pound of great stability) ; and the union of the outer portions 
of the sand-grains with the lime, forming a silicate. Investi- 
gation has shewn that sand fulfils mechanically a more im- 
portant office, by increasing the extent of surface to which 
the compound of the hydrate and carbonate may attach itself. 
The latter office may also be performed, and equally well, by 
pulverized limestone. 

2. It is well known that calcareous springs deposit carbo- 
nate of lime in crystalline forms. The salt had been held in 
solution by carbonic acid contained in the water. Upon reach- 
ing the surface, under less pressure and the influence of a 
high temperature, its carbonic acid is given up, and with it 
a precipitate of carbonate of lime takes place. The process 
is exclusively chemical. 

3. The value of hydraulic cements is now conceived to de- 
pend chiefly upon the presence of silica and lime, the oxide of 
iron having little or nothing to do with the process of solidi- 
fication. The alumina, in the form of a silicate, yields its 
silica to the lime, which, for its transportation, requires 
water. This explains the necessity of its being retained 
under water periods of variable length, according to the pro- 
portions of the ingredients. The processes are both chemical 
and mechanical. 

4. Gypsum, from which the two atoms of water of crystal- 
lisation have been expelled by heat, rapidly hardens upon 
being mixed with water. This is ascribed to the reunion of 
the sulphate of lime with the water. 

Do either of the above processes suggest the method by 
which the rocks of the Florida reefs have been hardened ? 

The facts presented in the furnished specimens are as 
follow : — 

58 Professor Horsford on the 

The rock formed under water exclusively is composed of 
grains of size less than that of a mustard seed, which to the 
naked eye appear quite globular, and of uniform diameter. 
More carefully examined with a microscope, they are found 
to be far from regular in form or uniform in size, but pre- 
sent numerous depressions and prominences. Distributed 
throughout the intervening spaces is a fine deposit of carbon- 
ate of lime, which adheres with considerable tenacity to the 
surface upon which it rests. 

The surface or crust-rock, though not strictly homogeneous, 
is composed of particles so minute as not to be distinguished 
from each other. It dissolves in hydrochloric acid, leaving 
a flocculent residue. The solution, when evaporated to dry- 
ness, and ignited, readily redissolves in hydrochloric acid, 
with only an occasional residue. The solution gives no pre- 
cipitate with chloride of barium. Nitrate of silver gives, in 
a nitric acid solution; a white precipitate, soluble in ammonia. 
The aqueous extract gives to alcohol flame the characteristic 
soda tint. The powdered rock, dried at 100° C, when heated 
in a dry tube, gives off water. 

Thus the qualitative analysis of the incrusting rock shewed 
it to consist of lime, soda, carbonic acid, hydrochloric acid, 
water, and organic matter. There were also variable traces 
of peroxide of iron, magnesia, and silica. The former two 
were wanting in most of the specimens examined, and the 
silica in some. Numerous specimens were examined for 
alumina, without in any instance finding a trace of this sub- 

* I examined, also, all the species of coral at my command, without finding 
a trace of alumina in any of them. The hydrochloric acid solution of the coral 
was precipitated with ammonia. The washed precipitate was digested for 
several hours with potassa (previously tested for, and found to he free from, 
alumina), and filtered. The filtrate was then neutralised with hydrochloric 
acid, and ammonia added. After standing for several hours, there appeared 
filaments which were soluhle neither in potassa nor nitric acid, and which, ex- 
amined with the microscope, proved to he paper ; they had heen derived from 
the filter. Beside these, there was no precipitate. The quantities employed 
wore, in several instances, from a quarter to half a pound of material. There 
were examined, Millepora alcicornis ; Meandrina lahyrinthica, two specimens ; 
Manieina palmata ; Myccdia areolata ; A straw microcosmos, two specimens; 
rock Bubaerial and rock submarine, numerous specimens. 

Rocks of the Florida Reefs. 59 

In a quantitative analysis by Homer, and another by Mari- 
ner, the following results were obtained : — 

The total loss by prolonged ignition, included organic mat- 
ter, water as hydrate of lime, and carbonic acid, was as fol- 
lows : — 
I. 2-7875 gr. lost 1-2687 gr. II. 0-5910 gr. lost 0-2600 gr. 

The water was determined in a chloride of calcium tube, 
with the aid of a low red-heat and an aspirator. (A heat of 
175° C. in an oil-bath, expelled but a very small proportion 
of the water.) 

I. 0-7519 gr. lost 0-0259 gr. II. 1-2890 gr. lost 0-0280 gr. 

The organic matter was determined by washing on a dried 
filter the hydrochloric acid residue. 

I. 1-7181 gr. gave 0-0028 gr. II. 0-4461 gr. gave 0-0021 gr. 
The carbonic acid was determined in an evolution flask 

glass. The results with different specimens varied greatly, 
and are far from being satisfactory. 

I. 0-8605 gr. lost 0-3347 gr. III. 0-1720 gr. lost 0-0585 gr. 

II. 0-1745 gr. lost 0-0600 gr. IV. 1-6116 gr. lost 0-6277 gr. 

The lime was precipitated as oxalate and weighed as car- 

I. 1-3248 gr. gave 1-2581 gr. II. 0-2550 gr. gave 0*2330 gr. 

The silica was determined in the usual way. 

I. 1-3245 gr. gave 0-0002 gr. II. 0-3760 gr. gave 0-0005 gr. 

The chlorine of the chloride of sodium was determined as 
chloride of silver. 

I. 0-8933 gr. gave 00303 gr. II. 0'6850 gr. gave 0-0101 gr. 

Expressed in per-cents. we have : — 

Volatile Matter from . 43-99 <f> cent, to 45'51 <f> cent. 

2-17 ... 3-44 

Organic Matter 

Carbonic Acid 


Chloride of Sodium 








.. f38- 
.. \38- 







It is conceivable that the variabilitv in the carbonic acid 

60 Professor Horsford on the 

and water is due to the more or less advanced stages of 
change which the rock has undergone. In the ultimate form 
of limestone all the water existing as hydrate in the earlier 
stages will have become carbonate. 

These ingredients permit no action like that occurring in 
hydraulic cements, in which silica plays an important part ; 
or like that presented in the hardening of gypsum, in which 
sulphuric acid is necessary. To one of the two remaining 
processes, if to either, must it be ascribed ; and as hydrate 
of lime is present, it cannot be exclusively assigned to a place 
with calcareous spring deposits. Now, how could hydrate of 
lime be provided from carbonate of lime % 

The completeness of the suite of collections provided for 
me by Prof. Agassiz, has enabled me to answer this question 
in such a manner as leaves, I think, little room for doubt. 
On the main land against the Keys, there are depressions 
which are filled with water only at long and irregular inter- 
vals. This water, like that within and about the Keys, 
abounds with animal life. As the water evaporates, these 
animals die, and fall upon and mingle with the coral mud at 
the bottonic As the beds become more and more completely 
dry, the layer of mud and animal matter hardens till it forms 
a mass resembling the surface or crust rock. 

Of this soft, growing rock, specimens were collected. 
Agitated with water, it yielded a turbid, foetid solution. 
Tested with acetate of lead, it betrayed the presence of hy~ 
drosulphuric acid. After standing some hours, a delicate 
white film was deposited upon the containing vessel, at the 
surface of the water, which proved to be carbonate of lime. 
Test-paper shewed the liquid to be alkaline. The addition 
of soda solution set ammonia free, and the addition of chloride 
of barium and hydrochloric acid shewed the presence of sul- 
phuric acid. 

Conceiving this soft rock to be in the condition in which 
the solidified crust was at first, the process of hardening 
seemed of easy explanation. 

The animal matter mixed with the carbonate of lime, con- 
taining sulphur and nitrogen, besides carbon, hydrogen, and 
oxygen, in the progress of decay, which warmth and a small 

Rocks of the Florida Reefs. 61 

quantity of water facilitated, gave, as an early product of 
decomposition, hydrosulphuric acid ; this, by oxidation at 
the expense of the oxygen of the atmosphere, became water 
and sulphuric acid. The sulphuric acid coming in contact 
with carbonate of lime, a salt soluble in 10,600 parts of water, 
resolved it into sulphate of lime, a salt soluble in 388 parts 
of water. The carbonic acid set free, uniting with an unde- 
composed atom of carbonate of lime, rendered it soluble. 
The nitrogen going over into the form of ammonia, at a later 
period, decomposed the sulphate of lime, forming sulphate of 
ammonia and soluble hydrate of lime. This hydrate of lime, 
with an atom of carbonate of lime, united to form the com- 
pound in ordinary mortar investigated by Fuchs. The car- 
bonate of lime in solution from the added carbonic acid, as 
the water is withdrawn by evaporation, takes on the crystal- 
line form, giving increased strength and solidity to the rock. 

That this explanation may serve, in however small measure, 
for the crust rock on the land slopes of Key West and all 
localities of a similar character, it is necessary that there be 
animal exuviae in coral mud, or finely divided carbonate of 
lime. Both these occur. The water about the Keys abounds 
in animal life. 

With the influx of the tide, the slopes became overspread 
with the water and what it contains in suspension. The 
retreating water, at ebb tide, leaves a thin layer of the 
animal matter, mixed always when the water is agitated 
with the fine calcareous powder. Before the return of flood 
tide, exposure to the atmosphere and warmth have secured 
the succession of chemical changes enumerated above, and a 
thin layer of rock is formed. A repetition of this process 
makes up the numerous excessively thin layers of which this 
rock is composed. 

On the ocean side the deposit is formed from spray, during 
winds which drive the froth of the sea, containing, with coral 
mud, the exuviae from the barrier of living corals upon the low 
bluffs of the Keys.* 

* Professor Dana in a note to his last paper on Coral Keefs and Islands in 
the July number of this Journal, p. 83, after enumerating briefly the details of 
the above process of consolidation, remarks : — 

G2 Professor Horsford on the 

To these chemical changes must be added the simple ad- 
mixture of the animal and vegetable matter, which, like 

" In the first place, his (Prof. H.'s) paper only alludes to the rock formed 
ahovc low-tide level, which I have called the coral sand-rock. Again, the 
amount of organic matter in corals, as found by analysis, does not exceed five 
per cent. ; and the sulphur present in this organic matter, is not over one-tenth 
of one per cent. It hence appears that the amount of sulphur is altogether im 
adequate for such changes. 

" But as the sands of the beach (which have a peculiarly white and clear ap- 
pearance) are washed by the breakers, and the animal matter they contain is 
either undecomposed within the several grains, or is borne off by the waters, 
even the animal matter present cannot contribute to the consolidation. The 
waters of the tides along a sand beach on the open ocean have certainly not 
been proved to carry in dissolved animal matter for dissemination among the 

Two or three points in this note demand attention from me. 

The first sentence of the first paragraph should be read in connection with 
the conclusions I. and II., expressed at the end of my paper. 

In reply to the remainder of the paragraph, the criticism would be just, if I 
had any where ascribed the solidification, or any part of it, to any action of 
the organic matter in corals. 

Since the publication of my article in the Proceedings of the Association, 
there have been made quantitative analyses of the more important ingredients 
of the soft rock, corresponding, as I conceive, with the rock of sub-aerial soli- 
dification in the first stages of its formation. When first supplied to me, it 
was of the consistency of well-tempered pottery clay. It is now so hard as to 
yield only to a severe blow with a hammer, and is, beside, brittle and coated 
with fibrous crystals of common salt. 

The following analyses made by Everett and Warren, upon samples differing 
but little from each other in appearance, have been conducted with great care. 
They vary, it will be seen, considerably from each other : — 

Dried at a temperature of 100° C. By prolonged ignition. 

I. 1-1450 gr. lost 0-0890 gr. 0-8270 gr. lost 0-4870 gr. 

II. 1-5325 gr. lost 0-1175 gr. 1-9020 gr. lost 0-8000 gr. 
The hydrochloric acid solution left a residue of organic matter. 

I. 1-1450 gr. gave 0-2930 gr. II. 1-6424 gr. gave 0-2805 gr. 

The mass, digested in diluted hydrochloric acid, yielded from existing sul- 
phate upon the addition of chloride of barium to the filtrate, sulphate of baryta. 
I. 2-3380 gr. gave 0-1040 gr. II. 1-5325 gr. gave 0-1304 gr. 

The organic matter by itself, oxydated in nitro-hydrochloric acid, with addi- 
tion of pulverized chlorate of potassa, yielded to chloride of barium a precipi- 
tate of sulphate of baryta. 

I. 1-5325 gr. gave 0-1505 gr. 
The whole mass oxidated in a mixture of fused nitrate of potassa and car- 
bonate of soda, yielded to chloride of barium and hydrochloric acid, a precipi- 
tate of sulphate of baryta. 

Rocks of the Florida Reefs. 63 

mucilage or glue, fills up the interstices, increases the extent 
of surface, and with it the cohesive attraction ; and still 

I. 2-3090 gr. gave 02850 gr. II. 1-4322 gr. gave 0-1550 gr. 

The hydrochloric acid solution filtered from the organic matter gave a preci- 
pitate of oxalate of lime, which was determined as carbonate. 
I. 0-8770 gr. gave 0-4100 gr. 
Expressed in per cents, the above determinations give of 
Water, expelled at 100° C. 
I. 7-77 per cent. II. 7*66 per cent. Average, 7-72 per cent. 

Total volatile matter, 
I. 41-17 per cent. II. 42-06 per cent. Average, 41*58 per cent. 
The following per cents, are estimated upon the substance as dried at 100° C. 
Sulphur existing as sulphate and soluble in diluted hydrochloric acid. 
I. 0*65 per cent. II. 0*90 per cent. 1*26 per cent. Average, 094 per cent. 
Sulphur in organic matter. 

1 1-45 per cent. 

Total sulphur of the above determinations, 2-39 per cent. 
Total sulphur by oxidation of the mass, including the organic and inorganic 

J. 1-61 per cent. II. 1*84 per cent. Average, 172 per cent. 
Average by the two methods, .... 2-05 per cent. 

Lime, I. .... 30*09 per cent. 

Placing side by side the results of the above determinations with the quan- 
tities which Prof. Dana justly conceives to be inadequate to the changes 
ascribed, we have, 

Per cent. Per cent. 

Organic matter, ..... 5' 2016 

Sulphur, 0-1 2-05 

The conditions of this soft rock, and of the surface or crust rock at the time 
of its formation, I conceive to have been quite identical. The soft rock is the 
residue left by spontaneous evaporation of a considerable body of sea-water 
thrown, with its mingled coral mud and animal matter, into an inland basin, at 
the rare juncture of favourable high wind and tide. A single layer of the 
surface rock is the residue left by evaporation of the water mingled with coral 
mud and animal matter, thrown up in spray from the dashing of the waves, or 
carried up by flood-tide, and left by evaporation in the interval between the 
two tides. This will account for its stratification, for its occurrence on emi- 
nences as well as in depressions and along abrupt slopes, for its interstratified 
arrangement with the coarse coral sand ; indeed, for all the phases and pecu- 
liarities of it which are presented in the extensive suite of collections sub- 
mitted to me. 

In addition to the changes enumerated in the above paper as resulting from 
the decay of the animal matter, another may be mentioned. The ammonia 
evolved in the process of decomposition, would provide hydrate of lime from 
the sulphate present in the sea-water. This ingredient, taking the average of 
Bibra's analysis, is to the chloride of sodium as 1 to 16, and may be conceived 

64 Professor Horsford on the 

further to the decomposition of the organic matter furnishing 
carbonic acid, which gives solubility to the pulverulent car- 
bonate of lime. 

The exceeding fineness of the coral mud is due in part to 
the stone plants which flourish in the waters within the reef, 
and which admit of ready reduction to a powder of extreme 
fineness. Of these, two species of Millepora, I., II., and one 
of Opuntia, III., were analysed by Mr Scoville in my labo- 


Organic matter, 4-45 4'45 1-26 2*58 4-18 5-72 

Carbonic "acid, 40-09 396 i 41-08 2-70 37-68 35-81 
Sulphuric acid, 0-0056 00056 

Lime, 47-71 47-98 46-35 4680 51-81 51-36 

Magnesia, ... ... 6-23 5-90 

Water, 3*67 3-30 4-52 ... 559 5-92 

95-92 95-37 99-44 8 99-26 98-81 

The discrepancies in the analyses of the different speci- 
mens of the same species are due to the circumstance that 
different parts of the stone plant contain organic matter in 
unlike proportions ; and it is very difficult to procure two 

to have furnished no inconsiderable amount of hydrate of lime for the process 
of consolidation. 

Prof. Dana attributes the formation of this crust-rock which has been the 
more prominent object of my investigation, to the action of simple rain-water, 
dissolving the carbonate of lime and again depositing it upon evaporation.* 
This would account for its occurrence in depressions of the rock, but would not 
account for its occurrence on eminences or on abrupt slopes ; nor would it ac- 
count for the presence of water as hydrate of lime. 

The first sentence of the second paragraph of the above criticism has been re- 
plied to. I have ascribed no solidifying action to the animal matter in corals. 

In regard to the second : — It will not be questioned that there is a great 
amount of organic matter in various stages of decomposition about coral reefs. 
Bibra found organic matter in all the ten specimens of sea-water analysed by 
him. I have, in the paper above, repeated the statement made to me by the 
parties who collected the specimens, that the waters within the Keys abound in 
animal life. That procured for analysis from within the Keys was found ex- 
ceedingly offensive from the decomposition of animal matter. It yielded the 
odour and reactions of hydrosulphuric acid, and gave a total amount of organic 
matter of 298 per cent. 

Now, it is difficult to see how sea-water should fail to carry the animal matter 
it holds in solution, and more or less of that it holds in suspension into the coral 
sands, which are saturated at every high water and again drained at low tide. 
* Am. Jour. Sci. [2], xiv. 67 and 81. 

Rocks of the Florida Reefs. 65 

specimens which, when pulverized, will present homogeneous 
powders of the same constitution. 

II. Source of Lime in the Growth of Corals. 

Marcet,* as early as 1823, observed carbonate of lime in 
the sea-water near Portsmouth. Jackson t found it in two 
specimens of sea water furnished by the United States Ex- 
ploring Expedition ; one from 600 feet, and the other from 
2700 feet below the surface. J. Davy J found the sea-water 
of Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, to contain about T o^o oth part of 
carbonate of lime. There was found scarcely a trace near 
the volcanic island of Fayal. White || is of the opinion that 
it fails only near the surface ; but the elaborate analysis by 
Bibra,§ of no less than ten specimens taken generally from 
a depth of twelve feet, but in one instance from a depth of 
four hundred and twenty feet, in various latitudes on both 
sides of the equator, shews quite conclusively that it is not 
a constant ingredient of sea-water. His analyses do not 
mention a trace of carbonate of lime. The quantity found 
by Davy is very nearly that which is soluble in water and is 
obviously due to the calcareous marl which abounds near 
the Barbadoes. 

The water from within the Keys was carefully analysed 
in my laboratory ; it contained lime and sulphuric acid among 
its ingredients, but not a trace of carbonic acid. 

The total want of carbonic acid in a water in which coral 
life is so luxuriant, suggests naturally that the stone plant, 
as well as the coral animal, possesses the power of abstract- 
ing lime from the sulphate ; the change being due to double 
decomposition with carbonate of ammonia excreted from the 
plant and animal, yielding carbonate of lime, quite insoluble, 
and sulphate of ammonia of the highest solubility. The 
building up of the calcareous skeleton becomes, upon this 
hypothesis, of exceeding simplicity. The surrounding ele- 

* Annals of Philosophy, April 1823, p. 261. 
t Am. Jour. Science, [2] vol. v., p. 47. 

% Phil. Magazine, [3] xxxv., p. 232. [| lb., p. 308. 

§ Ann. de Chemie et de Pharmacie, lxxvii., 90. 

06 Professor Horsford on the 

ment yields at once to the exhaling carbonate of ammonia the 
framework of stone. 

With this view, there is no difficulty in finding a supply of 
carbonate of lime for the vast masses of coral. The sulphate 
of lime, decomposed to furnish the carbonate, is perpetually 
renewed through rivers from the continents and islands. 

The following inferences are legitimately deducible from 
this view : — 

1st, Corals would soon die in bodies of salt water wholly 
cut off from the ocean. 

2d, They might flourish to some extent in waters accessible 
to the sea only at high tide, 

In Dana's Report on Coral Reefs and Islands,* he states 
that "-where there is an open channel, or the tides gain 
access over a barrier reef, corals continue to grow, &c. At 
Henuake the sea is shut out except at high water, and there 
were consequently but few species of corals, &c. At Ahii 
there was a small entrance to the lagoon ; and though com- 
paratively shallow, corals were growing over a large portion."! 

These facts seem to me to give some support to the view 
expressed above. 

It was of interest to ascertain, in the case of corals, 
whether the formation of new coral without was attended 
with absorption or partial solution in the interior, and a cor- 
responding reduction of its specific gravity. Specimens of 
coral, from the centre, periphery, and midway between, of a 

* Am. Jour. Science, [2] xii., 34 to 41, and Geol. Report Expl. Exp., p. 63. 

f In my article, as published in the Proceedings of the Association, I have 
further quoted from Professor Dana's papers in support of other inferences de- 
duced from the foregoing view. I have since learned from the author that I 
had misconceived the sense in which the quotations were to be understood, and 
have become satisfied, especially after examination of the map of the Feejee 
Islands accompanying Professor Dana's last article, that the inference, that 
fresh-water streams, by their supply of sulphate of lime, exerted any consider- 
able influence upon coral formations, is not sustained. The sulphate of lime 
of sea-water, however, being one-sixteenth of the chloride of sodium, is abundant 
for the supply of the carbonate of lime, without the aid to be dorived from such 
:i source. 

Bocks of the Florida Reefs. 67 

mass of Meandrina, a foot in diameter, were reduced to pow- 
der, washed with hot water until the chloride of sodium was 
all removed, and their specific gravity ascertained by Storer. 
The average of three specimens from the centre, three from 
the middle, and two from the periphery, gave the following 
specific gravities : — 

Centre. Middle. Periphery. 

2,695 2,749 2,785 

These results so far support the affirmative of the sugges- 
tion above, as to make a repetition of the determinations 

The chief conclusions to which the above research has 
conducted are : — 

I. That the submerged or oolitic rock has been solidified 
by the infiltration of finely powdered (not dissolved) carbonate 
of lime, increasing the points of contact ; and the introduc- 
tion of a small quantity of animal mucilaginous matter, 
serving the same purpose as the carbonate of lime, that of 
increasing the cohesive attraction. 

II. That the surface rock has been solidified by having, in 
addition to the above agencies, the aid of a series of chemi- 
cal decompositions and recompositions resulting in the for- 
mation of a cement. 

And I may add that it lends support to the suggestion, 

III. That the carbonate of lime of corals is derived from 
the sulphate in sea-water, by double decomposition with the 
carbonate of ammonia exhaled from the living animal. — (Sil- 
liman's American Journal, vol. xiv. 2d Series, No. 41, 
p. 224.) 

E 2 


Observations on a remarkable Deposit of Tin-Ore at the 
Providence Mines, near St Ives, Cornwall. By William 
Jory Henwood, Esq., F.R.S., F.G.S., Member of the 
Geological Society of France, &c. Communicated by the 

The Providence Mines, in the parish of Lelant, comprise the mines 
formerly known as Wheal Speed, Wheal Laity, Wheal Comfort, 
and Wheal Providence, long worked on the eastern side of the hill 
which slopes from Knill's monument to the sea. 

(a) Observations on the eastern workings in the slate, and on the 
western within the granite formation, have already appeared in the 
Royal Cornwall Geological Society's Transactions, "f The interme- 
diate tract, now to be described, is wholly in granite, of which the 
upper beds are composed of a basis of greyish felspar and quartz, 
imbedding medium-sized crystals of white felspar, as well as numer- 
ous small groups of schorl in radiating crystals : but near the produc- 
tive parts of the lodes the rock is mostly rather coarse-grained, its basis 
is greenish- grey felspar, black mica, and quartz ; and the included 
porphyritic crystals of felspar are either of a pale buff, a pink, or a 
reddish-brown hue. 

(6) These veins are — 

The Cross-course or Trawn, which bears about 22° W. of N., and dips E.J 

Wheal Comfort lode „ 15° W. of N., „ W. 

and Wheal Laity lode or lodes „ 17° S. of W., „ S. 

Connected with the Wheal Comfort lode there isa " Carbona,'^ 
to which further reference will be made presently. 

It may be here stated generally, that the Cross-course is from 
one foot and a half to two feet in breadth, and is composed of disin- 
tegrated fine grained granite, divided by numerous joints parallel to 
the "walls;" as well as by many other curved and irregular ones 
which intersect each other in every imaginable manner, and are 
filled with oxide of iron, and closely but unconformably striated. 

The Wheal Comfort lode varies in width, from a few inches to 
more than six feet. At a distance from the Wheal Laity lodes it 
is of granite, very thinly impregnated with tin-ore ; — the remainder 
consists of quartz, schorl-rock (capclj, brown iron-ore, and greenish 
and brownish felspar, in some places, — near the Wheal Laity lodes, 
— abounding in tin-ore. 

* For the Paper in full vide vol. vii. of Transactions of the Royal Geological 
Society of Cornwall. 

t Vol. v., pp. 16-20; Tlate ii., fig. 7; Tables 21 and 22. 

| The " directions " have reference to true north, the " dips" are from the 

§ I have already described a similar though a much smaller formation in one 
of these mines. Corn. Geol. Trans., v., Table 22. 

Observations on a remarkable Deposit of Tin-Ore. 69 

At about 105 fathoms deep this lode is connected with one of 
those curious deposits of tin-ore locally called (i Carbonas,"* as yet 
unknown in any other part of Cornwall. The union takes place 
about 14 fathoms south of the contact between the Wheal Comfort 
and the Wheal Laity lodes; and for 10 fathoms above and 20 
fathoms below, as well as for the whole distance between the Wlieal 
Laity lodes and the Carbona, the Wheal Comfort lode, when alone, 
is very productive : but immediately as the Wheal Comfort lode 
and the " Carbona" separate in descending, — each taking its own 
downward course, — the lode becomes unproductive, and so also re- 
mains as far southward as it has yet been traced. 

At the northern contact of the Wheal Comfort lode and the Car- 
bona Ji there is a rich mass of quartz, felspar, schorl, and tin-ore, at 
least 15 feet in width for about 5 fathoms in length: both south- 
ward of and below this spot the lode preserves its usual direction 
and dip; but the " Carbona'" southward bears about 5° east of the 
course of the lode, and holds nearly perpendicularly downward. 
Descending about 5 fathoms, it abuts on the granite rock, and is 
seen no deeper ; except that as it is pursued southward the irregular 
granitic bed on which it rests declines at an angle of about 8°. 
With the exception of a single short string or pipe no trace whatever 
of the " Carbona" has rewarded the numerous researches which 
have been made at greater depths. Nothing can, however, be more 
irregular than its size and various ramifications. Though the upper 
edge of the " Carbona" generally continues to touch the lower side 
{foot- wall) of the lode, in some places the contact is only a few 
inches, but in others as much as two fathoms and a half wide. 
Again, in some cases the continuity of the " Carbona" where it 
joins the lode, is almost entirely cut off by intervening masses of 
granite ; the union with the main body being still preserved, though 
merely by " pipes" or " pillars'' of lode-like matter. Many portions 
of the " Carbona" are as much as five or six fathoms high ; others 
not more than four or five feet ; some parts are two fathoms and a 
half wide ; whilst others do not exceed six inches. The largest 
portions are, however, seldom or never entirely separated from each 
other by the containing rock ; for there is always a sufficient connec- 
tion to conduct tj^e miner from one large and rich mass to another. 

The composition of the Wheal Comfort lode has been already 
noticed : but, notwithstanding their intimate connection, that of the 
" Carbona" is widely different, as its tin- ore occurs chiefly in 
quartz and schorl, which minerals, either separate or mixed, consti- 
tute the far greater portion of this remarkable deposit. 

* Some persons pretend to derive this term from the ancient Cornish lan- 
guage, whilst others suppose it to have heen recently coined hy the miners. 
Both the word itself and the metalliferous deposit it is meant to designate are, I 
believe, confined to the St Ives mining district. Corn. Geo. Trans., v., p. 21, 

70 W. J. Henwood, Esq., on a 

Everywhere eastward the Wheal Laity lode is but a single vein 
of about a foot and a half wide, and composed of quartz, earthy 
brown iron-ore, greenish, and in some places brick-red, felspar, a 
little tin-ore, together with some vitreous copper-ore, and iron 
pyrites. Westward, however, it consists of at least two separate 
veins, called, for distinction sake, the Wheal Laity north and south 
lodes ; and sometimes there is also a third vein. At one spot the 
third vein is simply crystallized felspar, and the axes of the crystals 
are parallel to each other, but lie across the vein ; in other parts it 
is slightly productive of tin-ore. The Wlieal Laity north, and 
Wheal Laity south, lodes, in general from a foot to a foot and a 
half in width, are occasionally much wider. Greenish felspar, quartz, 
schorl, and occasionally brown iron-ore, are their chief ingredients : 
in some parts both veins are rich in tin-ore ; vitreous copper-ore, 
copper and iron pyrites also occur, but are not common constituents. 
In the deepest part of the mine (i. e., at 150 fathoms deep), the 
Wheal Laity north lode is for some fathoms in length about two feet 
in width, and is then composed of chlorite, vitreous copper-ore, and 
iron pyrites, and has a vein of rather fine-grained granite on one 
side. At a depth of 120 fathoms, and about 60 fathoms west of 
the portions already described, where the same lode consists of gra- 
nite, quartz, red iron-ore, and a little tin-ore, there is connected with 
its northern side {foot-wall) an off-shoot or excrescence, about four 
fathoms in all directions, but most irregular in figure, and having 
many small vein-like branches. This mass, consisting chiefly of 
chlorite, quartz, and iron pyrites, is not only far richer in tin ore 
than the adjoining portion of the lode, but is remarkably different 
in mineral composition. We have thus the same ore richly im- 
pregnating, not only the Wheal Comfort lode and the " Carbona," 
two parallel but entirely dissimilar deposits, but also the Wheal Laity ■ 
lode, which has a direction nearly at right angles to them. 

(c) The intersections of the lodes just mentioned exhibit almost 
an epitome of that class of phenomena. 

(1) The Wheal Laity and the Wheal Comfort lodes cross each 
other : still at some levels there is no evidence to show that either 
is cut through ; whilst at others the Wheal Comfort lode not only 
intersects, but also heaves the Wheal Laity lode. ^It is not the least 
remarkable circumstance attending this intersection, that the Wheal 
Laity lode is a single vein everywhere eastward of the Wheal Comfort 
lode, whereas westward of their contact it is divided into two, and in 
some places even into three distinct and separate veins. 

(2) All these veins are intersected by the Cross-course, and all 
are heaved by it : the two larger (the Wheal Laity north and the 
Wheal Laity south lodes) in general from 10 to 15 fathoms : the 
displacement of the smaller vein is, however, much less considerable, 
and does not exceed six fathoms and a half. 

Again, notwithstanding the Wheal Comfort lode and the Cross- 

Remarkable Deposit of Tin- Ore. 71 

course have opposite inclinations, they respectively heave the Wheal 
Laity lodes in the same direction. 

At a depth of 110 fathoms, where the Wheal Laity north lode is 
for some distance unproductive, whilst the Wheal Laity south lode 
is rich in tin ore on both sides of the Cross-course, and for some 
fathoms both above and below the gallery (level), the Cross-course 
consists of a rich vein of tin-ore for the whole interval (five fathoms) 
between the eastern portions of the two lodes, as well as of a fine 
mass of the same ore at its contact* with the western part of the 
Wheal Laity south lode. 

(3) At 130 fathoms deep the Wheal Laity south lode is also 
heaved, but in an opposite direction, by a vein of granitic clay (the 
Flucan). This fiucan is not prolonged to either of the other Wheal 
Laity veins ; nor, indeed, does it reach any other gallery (level) even 
on the same lode. 

(4) The Wheal Comfort lode and the Cross- course have the same 
direction, but, as already observed, opposite inclinations ; and are so 
situated that they come into contact on the line of their dips at 
about 130 fathoms deep. From the point where they first touch 
each other they descend perpendicularly side by side for about three 
fathoms, each keeping the same relative position it had previously 
when separate (viz., the Cross-course on the west, and the Wheal 
Comfort lode on the east). At length, however, the lode cuts 
through the Cross-course. After this intersection, though they 
have changed sides, and their relative position is reversed, they still 
proceed together, but now take the line of the lode's previous under- 
lie for several fathoms. "When they separate the lode preserves its 
dip ; but the Cross-course, though it resumes the previous direction 
of its inclination, dips eastward far more rapidly than before. It 
may, indeed, be generally observed, that a vein which has been dis- 
placed by another, whether the intersection be horizontal or vertical, 
makes (if I may be permitted the expression) an effort to resume its 
original course. 

(5) The Wheal Laity lodes are intersected as well by the Wheal 
Comfort lode and the Cross-course, during their union, as by each 
of them when separate ; the union, however, has little or no influence 
on the extent of the heave. 

Many details of local, and some, indeed, of general interest, 
scarcely need be mentioned here, as this paper may be deemed sup- 
plementary to my remarks on the Saint Ives District ;* and espe- 
cially to a description of a similar interesting formation at the St 
Tves Consolidated Mines, which has already appeared in the Trans- 
actions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.! 

A small stream issues from the Wheal Laity north lode at 150 
fathoms deep, having a temperature of 71° ; whilst that of the water 

* Vol. v., p. 16. t Idem, p. 21. 

72 Arctic Natural History. 

discharged by the pump at the adit (45 fathoms from the surface) is 
only 63° 6'.* 

The Orchard, Penzance, Oct. 15, 1851. 

Arctic Natural History. 

The following interesting statements illustrative of Arctic 
Natural History we select for the information of our 

1. Cause of Intense Thirst in Arctic Regions. 2. Thickness of 
the Arctic Ice. 3. Warmth of Snow Burrows. 4. Snow a bad 
Conductor of Sound. 5. The breaking up of an Arctic Iceberg. 
6. Refrigerating Power of Icebergs. 7- The droppings of Eider 
Ducks. 8. Arctic Minute Animal and Vegetable Forms, and 
Colour of the Sea. 9. On the Flesh of Little Auks and Rotges f 
and Sea- Fowl generally. 10. Red Snoiv. 11. On the Colour- 
ing Matter of Marine Algce, by Dr Dickie. 12. Nostoc Arcti- 
cum, by Dr Dickie. 13. On the Magnitude of Arctic Glaciers 
and their advance towards and their termination in the Sea. 
14. Ice and Sea-Water Coloured by the Diatomacece. 

1. Cause of Intense Thirst in Arctic Regions. 
After saying farewell to Mr Mecham and his party Mr 
Stewart returned to the ships in Assistance Bay, where he 
arrived in the evening a little fatigued, having suffered as 
usual from excruciating thirst. I believe the true cause of 
such intense thirst is the extreme dryness of the air when 
the temperature is low. In this state it abstracts a large 
amount of moisture from the human body. The soft and 
extensive surface which the lungs expose, twenty-five times 
or oftener every minute, to nearly two hundred cubic inches 
of dry air, must yield a quantity of vapour which one can 
hardly spare with impunity. The human skin, throughout 
its whole extent, even where it is brought to the hardness of 
horn, as well as the softest and most delicate parts, is con- 
tinually exhaling vapour, and this exhalation creates in due 
proportion a demand for water. Let a person but examine 

* Observations on the temperature of other parts of the Providence Mines are 
recorded in the Society's Transactions, vol. v., p. 390. 

Arctic Natural His tori/. 73 

the inside of his boots after a walk in the open air at a low 
temperature, and the accumulation of condensed vapour which 
he finds there will convince him of the active state of the 
skin. I often found my stockings adhering to the soles of 
my Kilby's boots after a walk of a few hours. The hoar frost 
and snow which they contained could not have been there by 
any other means except exhalation .from the skin. — (Suther- 
land's Journal of Captain Penny's Voyage to Wellington 
Channel, in 1850-51, vol. i. 5 p. 404.) 

2. Thickness of the Ice. 

The ships were by this time almost completely banked up 
with snow, and a gangway of the same material with two 
parapet walls sloped gradually from the door in the awning 
to the surface of the ice. The dogs were now located on the 
ice in a little snow house at the ship's bow, with a quantity 
of straw between them and the cold and soft ice beneath. 
The 7 ice in the harbour was upwards of 2 feet thick. Since 
the 26th of September, when it was 10 or 11 inches, it in- 
creased at the rate of half-an-inch per day. The ice on Kate 
Austin Lake presented the same thickness with that in the 
harbour, although it was 7 or 8 inches thick when the harbour 
was one continuous sheet of water. This may appear rather 
strange, seeing that fresh water freezes at a higher tempera- 
ture than sea water ; but it may be proper to observe that 
sea water ice, from the saline matter which it contains, will 
probably conduct the heat faster from the water underneath 
than fresh water ice, and also, that the saline matter, reduced 
to a low temperature at the surface, sinks while the water is 
congealing, and cools the stratum into which it descends. 
The lakes a little beyond the beach, to which allusion has 
been made already, were frozen to the bottom, although the 
depth of some of them was more than 2 feet. This is pro- 
bably owing to the proximity of the ice on the surface with 
the bottom, which must conduct the heat away from the water 
laterally, in addition to the action of the air at the surface. 
It is not improbable that in the centre of Kate Austin Lake 
the bottom does not present ice even after the winter has de- 
voted itself to the extension of the ice from the sides towards 

74 Arctic Natural History. 

the centre. Here, then, we would find a perforation in the 
frozen crust which envelops the earth's surface in this high 
latitude. Were it not so, it is highly improbable that the sal- 
mon could exist between two ices. — {Sutherland's Journal.) 

3. Warmth of Snow-Burrows. 
Captain Penny suggested the idea of ascertaining what 
amount of warmth and comfort could be attained in a close 
burrow in the snow. In November, a single individual raised 
the temperature of one from 4°, that of the air at the time, to 
+ 20° in about twenty minutes ; but the heat of the snow 
and the ice must have been much greater than it was at this 
time. Two burrows, each six and a-half feet long, and two 
and a-half feet wide, were excavated about six inches above 
the level of the blue ice, in a wreath which had accumulated 
during an easterly gale. There was a thickness of at least 
four feet above each from the surface of the snow down- 
wards ; and the entrances into both were made so as to shut 
very closely. A thermometer inclosed in one of them for 
four hours rose to — 2°, the temperature of the external air 
at the time being — 29°. Two persons, the capacities of 
whose lungs were represented by 240 and 210, were inclosed 
in them for an hour and a quarter, at the end of which time 
the temperature had risen from — 28°, that of the air, to 
4- 3° and — 3° respectively ; the person with the most ca- 
pacious lungs raising it seven degrees higher than the other. 
To say the most of the burrows, they were not warm ; and 
closed up in them, as the two persons were, an idea of being 
buried alive was continually uppermost in their minds. How- 
ever, there is no doubt, had our circumstances demanded it, 
we should have overcome this idea, and have appreciated the 
comforts of burrowing in preference to sleeping in the open 

4. Snow a bad conductor of Sound. 
While inclosed in the burrows, the two persons kept up a 
conversation through the partition of dense snow that inter- 
vened between them. They had to bawl loudly to one an- 
other, although the thickness of the partition did not exceed 
a foot ; and when they were spoken to through the doorway, 

Arctic Natural History. 75 

which was securely closed also with firm snow, one had to 
call out in quite a stentorian voice before a reply could be 
obtained. The thickness of the slab of snow which closed 
the doorway was not above nine inches. This is at once a 
proof of the bad conductor of sound we have in snow. It is 
very probable that the property of conducting sound dimi- 
nishes with the density from ice down to the softest snow. — 
(Sutherland's Journal.) 

5. The Breaking up of an Iceberg. 

When an immense iceberg begins to tumble to pieces 
and change its position in the water, the sight is really 
grand, — perhaps one that can vie with an earthquake. 
Masses inconceivably great, four times the size of St 
Paul's Cathedral, or Westminster Abbey, are submerged 
in the still blue water to appear again at the surface, 
rolling and heaving gigantically in the swelling waves. 
Volumes of spray rise like clouds of white vapour into the 
air all round, and shut out the beholder from a scene 
too sacred for eyes not immortal. The sound that is 
emitted is not second to terrific peals of thunder, or the dis- 
charge of whole parks of artillery. The sea, smooth and 
tranquil, is aroused, and oscillations travel ten or twelve 
miles in every direction ; and if ice should cover its surface 
in one entire sheet, it becomes broken up into detached 
pieces, in the same manner as if the swell of an extensive 
sea or ocean had reached it ; and before a quiescent state is 
assumed, probably two or three large icebergs occupy its 
place, the tops of some of which may be at an elevation of 
upwards of two hundred feet, having, in the course of the 
revolution, turned up the blue mud from the bottom at a 
depth of two to three hundred fathoms. 

6. Refrigerating power of Icebergs. 

When we lost sight of this iceberg, or, I should rather 
say, of its ruins, a state of perfect rest had not been ac- 
quired. One half of it had but turned over upon its side, 
so that the pinnacled top had become the one side, while 
the bottom bad become the other ; and the other half ap- 

76 Arctic Natural History. 

peared to have been reduced to three or four smaller mas- 
ses, on the smooth parts of which muddy spots were dis- 
tinctly visible. 

When such immense quantities of ice are floating about 
in and on the sea in Baffin's Bay, one need not wonder at 
the low temperature of the water. We very rarely had it 
above 32°, and at that degree it would hardly effect a per- 
ceptible change upon the icebergs, although certainly it 
might dissolve the floating ice of the sea water. The tower- 
ing ice-bergs, over which the water exercises so little control 
in this latitude, are the store- houses of cold, carrying it into 
the depths of the ocean, and there concealing it from the 
searching rays of the sun. — (Sutherland's Journal.) 

7. The Droppings of Eider Ducks. 

The droppings of so many large birds accumulating for 
thousands of years would soon raise an island to a consider- 
able height above its original level. This happened on several 
islands on the coasts of Africa and South America ; but I do 
not believe it has ever been found extending to any great 
distance into the temperate zones, especially the zones of con- 
stant precipitation of rain, although sea-fowl are sufficiently 
abundant in those parts to produce it in very large quantities. 
There is little doubt this is owing to its being washed away 
by rains or melting snow, or it may be owing to vegetation, 
by which it becomes dissipated into the atmosphere, or con- 
verted into a thin coating of brown mould on the rock, in 
which grasses and other plants take root and flourish luxuri- 
antly, affording shelter to myriads of flies and their enemies, 
the spiders, even on and beyond the 74° of north latitude. At 
the distance we were from the island with the ships the luxu- 
riant vegetation could be clearly discerned, and in that re- 
spect it was in the most striking contrast with the rugged and 
bleak-looking land on both sides of the bay. — (Sutherland's 

8. Arctic Minute Animal and Vegetable Forms and 
Colour of the Sea. 
Wherever the ice had been very much decayed a dirty 

Arctic Natural History. 77 

brownish slimy substance was observed floating in loose floc- 
culi amongst it, in the surface of the water. The naked eye 
could detect in it no structure whatever ; but on viewing a 
drop of it through a microscope which magnified about two 
hundred and fifty diameters, it was found teeming with ani- 
mal life, and minute vegetable forms of very great beauty. 
Now would have been the time to perpetuate them with the 
pencil and chalk, but unfortunately I could only consign them 
to the bottle, with the expectation that their delicate silicious 
shells would retain their forms until our arrival in England. 
No one can conceive the vast numbers of these infusorial ani- 
malcules in the polar seas. Varying in size from z £o to xoV o 
of an inch, a single cubic inch will contain perhaps four or 
five hundred millions of individuals, each furnished with per- 
fect instruments of progression. In some of them I could see 
the cilia in rapid motion, while, to use the words of Professor 
Jones, '* they were swimming about with great activity, avoid- 
ing each other as they passed in their rapid dance, and evi- 
dently directing their motions with wonderful precision and 
accuracy."* In others no cilia could be detected ; but as they 
too were seen in motion, although not so often as the others, 
there is no doubt that they also possess similar delicately 
constituted organs. A beautiful sieve-like diatoma was very 
abundant ; but the shells which are silicious were broken very 
readily. They resemble the Coscinodiscus minor of Kutzing. 
Colour of the Sea. — I do not think that these infusoria can 
be included in the forms of animal life, described by Captain 
Scoresby, under the comprehensive genus Medusa, which is 
very abundant in the Greenland seas visited by that most dis- 
tinguished arctic voyager ; nor does there appear to be the 
slightest resemblance between them, except that both are of 
very minute size. He says that the sea is sometimes of an 
olive-green or grass-green colour. This is not at all peculiar 
to the still bays in Davis Strait, where the infusoria are so 
abundant. This phenomenon applies to the sea generally for 
many leagues or even degrees, and is not confined to the sur- 
face only ; neither is it essential to that condition that there be 

* A General Outline of the Animal Kingdom, by T. R. Jones, F.Z.S., 1841. 

78 Arctic Natural History. 

ice. In Davis Strait the infusoria are generally found most 
abundant where there is ice never extending above a few inches, 
at most a foot, beneath the water ; and when the ice disappears 
for the season, the brown slimy substance is rolled into rounded 
pellicles by the rippling of the water, retires from the surface, 
and ultimately sinks completely out of view, having never 
tinged the water in the slightest degree, except when it gave 
the decaying ice a dirty appearance. It is a well known fact, 
however, that Entomostraca, Acalephai, and Pteropodous 
mollusca, in great abundance and of various sizes, from 3V 
to jV of an inch in diameter up to half a foot or more, cannot 
fail to change the colour of the sea in a remarkable manner. 
— (Sutherland's Journal.) 

9. On the Flesh of little Auks or Eotges and Sea-Fowl 

Immense flocks of rotges were continually seen flying 
north or south according to the direction of the wind. They 
generally fly against the wind where they are sure to find 
open water. Their flight is invariably high over a tract of 
ice presenting no lanes or pools of water to receive them. In 
consequence of the closeness of the ice around the ships our 
sport among them was not very extensive. Captain Stewart, 
on one occasion, travelled a few miles to a large angular open- 
ing where they were very abundant, and succeeded in shoot- 
ing a great number. He brought down twenty to thirty 
at every shot. The rotge is excellent eating and is highly 
prized by every taste. I have heard the eider duck and the 
long-tailed duck, and even the loon, denounced by persons 
whose tastes were really fastidious, but I never heard a word 
against the little auk. Its flesh, and that of sea-fowl gene- 
rally in the Arctic Regions, improves very much by keeping 
for a few weeks after being shot ; indeed it is not uncommon 
to use them after they have been three months hanging to the 
booms around the ship's quarter. — {Sutherland's Journal.) 

Arctic Natural History. 79 

10. Bed Snow. 

The surface of the glaciers was of a dirty colour, but there 
were no moraines. It appeared to be owing to fine dust and 
sand blown from the adjacent land, or carried by small rills 
of water from the sides of the valley. Where there were 
patches of snow on the land a close examination would dis- 
cover more than the dirty colour, which was also present, a 
tinge of dirty red, which, in suitable localities, applied also 
to the glaciers. This is owing to a minute plant which has 
excited great interest, and has been most carefully described 
by many distinguished botanists, under the popular name of 
the red snow (Protococcus nivalis). From what Mr Petersen 
told me, after he had visited the famous localities where it is 
said to extend to depth of 12 feet, and also from the replies 
of the natives to questions upon the same subject, there ap- 
pears to be no reason for any other opinion than this, that it 
is a foreign body among snow or ice, which it can only find 
access to by being carried, either by the water of the pools 
in which it grows after they begin to overflow by influx of 
water from snow melting at higher elevations, or by the wind 
after the water has left it dry upon the rock. There does not 
appear to be any objection to the idea that this plant may 
grow upon stones and sand on the surface of a glacier, pro- 
vided that there be water covering them ; nor to the supposi- 
tion that a part of an increasing glacier may become impreg- 
nated with it by being carried from some neighbouring lo- 
cality by the wind. Although the red snow appears as red as 
blood when viewed with a high magnifying power, among the 
snow, along with probably abundance of other adventitious 
substances, it fails to exhibit its real colour, and rarely does 
more than impart a dirty appearance. It would prove highly 
interesting to examine whether the circumstances under which 
it is developed in the Alps and in the Arctic Regions are the 
same.* — (Sutherland's Journal.) 

11 . On the Colouring Matter of Marine A Igai. By Dr Dickie. 
It may be worthy of remark here that the colouring matter 

* Agassiz Etudes, chap. v. ; Travels in the Alps, by Prof. Forbes, chap. ii. 

80 Arctic Natural History. 

of ice in the Arctic Regions sometimes consists of the remains 
of algae, either in a state of decomposition or reduced to a 
pulp by the abrading action of drifting bergs, &c. ; such at 
least was the nature of specimens examined by me several 
years ago. 

In conclusion, it may be observed how few species there 
are of the olive- coloured and red algae ; such as are recorded 
may be considered as fairly representing these plants in the 
parts visited by the Expedition. The number of littoral species 
in such regions must be few, or in many places altogether 
absent ; the continual abrading influence of bergs and pack 
ice would effectually prevent their growth. 

In the thinning out of algae in such latitudes, it is a point 
of interest to ascertain what genera and species resist longest 
the influence of conditions inimical to the development of 
vegetable organisms. Only five of the olive- coloured series 
are recorded here, four of which are British ; the fifth, viz., 
the Agarum, being exclusively an American form. Of the 
red series there are only three ; one of them, the Polysiphonia, 
being a common species in Britain, the Dumontia is an 
American form, the third, new. 

The green Algse are better represented, six being marine, 
and fourteen from fresh water or moist places on land, con- 
firming the opinions entertained respecting the more general 
diffusion of the green than of the olive and red. Of the 
twenty enumerated, about a third are British. 

Of Desmidieae, only three were detected in Dr Sutherland's 
collection, two of which are British, and the Arthrodesmus 
has been found in France and Germany. 

The Diatomaceae, as might have been expected, are numer- 
ous. Their importance in reference to the existence of ani- 
mal life in high latitudes has been already alluded to ; an 
importance out of proportion to their size, the generality of 
them being so minute that their presence can only be detected 
by the microscope ; or rather, it may be remarked, that their 
minuteness renders them important, since they are readily 
conveyed to the digestive organs of mollusca by currents pro- 
duced by the numerous cilia on the mantle and gills of these 
animals. By a wise arrangement their numbers compensate 

Arctic Natural History. 81 

for their small size. The climate is so unfavourable that 
gigantic algse, such as occur in more favoured regions, can- 
not exist; the organisms in question, the representatives of 
the individual cells of which the larger species are composed, 
supply their place, and the siliceous matter which they have 
the power of separating from the medium in which they live, 
renders them better fitted to resist the injuries to which they 
are exposed. — (Sutherland's Journal.) 

12. Nostoc Arcticum, Berk. By Dr Dickie. 

This species has been recently described by the Bev. M. J. 
Berkeley, in a paper read before the Linnean Society. He 
refers it to Hormosiphon, expressing a doubt whether the 
latter genus is anything but a young or abnormal state of 
Nostoc. It appears to grow in great profusion in the loca- 
lities where it occurs, and Dr Sutherland communicates the 
following notes respecting it : — 

" It grows upon the soft and almost boggy slopes around 
Assistance Bay ; and when these slopes become frozen, at 
the close of the season, the plant lying upon the surface in 
irregularly plicated masses becomes loosened, and if it is not 
at once covered with snow, which is not always the case, the 
wind carries it about in all directions. Sometimes it is blown 
out to the sea, where one can pick it up on the surface of 
the ice, over a depth of probably one hundred fathoms. It 
has been found at a distance of tjvo miles from the land, 
where the wind had carried it. Each little particle lay in a 
small depression in the snow, upon the ice : this tendency to 
sink commenced early in June, owing to the action of the 
sun. At this distance from the land it was infested with 
Podurse ; and I accounted for this fact by presuming that the 
insects of the previous year had deposited their ova in the 
plant upon the land, where, also, the same species could be 
seen in myriads upon the little purling rivulets, at the sides 
of which the Nostoc was very abundant." 

Dr Sutherland found this plant to be edible, and superior to 
the Tripe de Roche, in connection with which it may be wor- 
thy of remark here, that Nostoc edule (Berk. & Mont) is 


82 Arctic Natural History. 

used as food in China. — (Sutherland's Journal of Captain 
Penny's Voyage to Wellington Channel.) 

13. On the Magnitude of Arctic Glaciers — and their advance 
towards and termination in the Sea. 

To the eastward of Cape Hay, we observed a glacier, of 
not very large size, entering the sea from a valley, through 
which it could be traced until it was lost among the rugged, 
sharp-pointed, and bleak-looking, almost inaccessible heights, 
on both sides. The main valley appeared to be entered by 
smaller ones, which also contained ice ; some of them entered 
at right angles, while others seemed to be a sort of division 
of the main one into smaller branches. The edge of the 
glacier protruded into the sea considerably beyond the coast 
line, and it looked as if an iceberg was to be detached very 
soon, — the water marked its sides with lines corresponding 
with the high and low water marks ; and in this respect 
there was a striking resemblance with what we had often 
observed, on the sides of icebergs, on the eastern shore of 
Davis Straits, which had taken a firm lodgment on the bot- 
tom during very high tides. The protruding edge was quite 
perpendicular, just as it had been left by the last iceberg that 
had floated away from it, and it rose to a height of forty to 
fifty feet above the water ; this would give the part under 
water about three hundred and fifty or four hundred feet. 
In many parts of its surface the glacier was very dirty, and 
masses of rock could be seen resting upon it, but there ap- 
peared to be very little order in their arrangement, except 
that, about the middle, the larger fragments followed the 
direction of the valley ; and at the west side, there seemed 
to be a collection of a dark colour and muddy consistence, 
which also followed the direction of the valley, but gradually 
thinned away as it ascended ; while the east side was per- 
fectly white from the very edge, until it was lost sight of in 
the distance. From the appearance of the mud, I had no 
other idea than that it had been brought down by water in a 
running stream, which must have made its escape into the 

Arctic Natural History. 83 

sea over the edge of the glacier. To the eastward of this 
glacier there is a second, which appeared to be a little higher, 
where it entered the water, than the former, and it was also 
of greater breadth. The surface was quite white, and did not 
appear to have a single fragment of rock upon it ; the night, 
however, was coming on, and this precluded a sufficiently 
correct view to enable one to make out the presence or entire 
absence of foreign bodies. These two glaciers, although 
extending to the bottom at a depth of sixty to seventy fa- 
thoms, appear in very humble contrast beside the towering 
cubes which escape annually, through the deep valleys, from 
the immense glacier range of the Greenland continent into 
Davis Straits, and which in some cases (Claushaven, lat. 69°) 
rise to a height of nearly three hundred feet, and raise mo- 
raines at the bottom, at the depth of the sante number of 
fathoms. — (Sutherland's Journal of Captain Penny's Voy- 
age to Wellington Channel.) 

14. Ice and Sea-Water Coloured by the Diatomacem. 

At my request, made previous to the departure of the 
expedition, Dr Sutherland paid special attention to the 
colouring matters of ice and sea-water ; samples of such 
from different localities were carefully collected and forwarded 
for my inspection. They were found to consist almost solely 
of Diatomacese ; and in some instances fresh water forms 
were detected, though rather sparingly, intermixed with 
others exclusively marine. This is not surprising when we 
consider the copious discharges of fresh water from the land, 
occasioned by the melting of snow and ice during the brief 

The contents of the alimentary canal of examples of Leda, 
Nucula, and Crenella, dredged in Assistance Bay, consisted 
of mud in a fine state of division, including also numerous 
Diatomaceae identical with those colouring the ice and the 

Though not a new fact, it is one of some interest in rela- 
tion to the existence of animal life in those high latitudes. 
Where Diatomacese abound, certain Mollusca obtain sure 


84 Richard Adie, Esq., on an Improvement in 

supplies of food ; these in turn are the prey of fishes ; these 
last contribute to the support of sea mammalia and birds. 

After bestowing considerable pains on this family, still I 
cannot write with full confidence regarding some of the 
species. Improvements in high powers of the microscope 
reveal the necessity of paying greater attention to the minute 
markings of the surface in addition to mere external form. 
The recent investigations of the Rev. W. Smith, in reference 
to such characters of British species, shew the importance of 
this, and in some measure detract from the general value of 
Professor Kutzing's useful work, the only one on the subject 
to which I have access here. — (Sutherland's Journal.) 

On an Improvement in Bikes' Self -Registering Thermometer. 
By Richard Adie, Esq., Liverpool. Communicated by the 
Author. (With a Plate.) 

The want of a self-registering thermometer, easily kept 
in working order, is still felt among a portion of the pub- 
lic. The instrument invented by Dr Rutherford is ex- 
cellent so long as it remains in the hands of parties con- 
nected with observatories, who from their daily practice be- 
come skilful in the use of delicate instruments. A proof of 
this is, that Rutherford's thermometers may be often seen 
at observatories in good order after many years' constant use ; 
but when transferred from thence to the hall, the parsonage, 
or the farm offices, several sources of derangement soon be- 
come manifest, which those usually in charge of registers in 
these places cannot control ; hence a very general feeling 
of disfavour has of late years been shewn towards this form 
of registering thermometers. 

The self-registering thermometer invented by Sikes has 
been long before the public, enjoying a variable degree of 
favour. In works on meteorology it is described without 
a notice, however, of a source of error in its readings, to 
which it is my wish in the present communication to call 
attention, and to suggest a remedy. The instrument, as at 

Mv lew Phil. Journ. PLATE I 

Yol. LET p. 84 

$>t>« c ?ojVoTx) J \liC' i £4dKWtqV 

Sikes 1 Self-Registering Thermometer. 85 

present made by the London glass-blowers, works without 
much liability to derangement, after it has been safely sus- 
pended in the place intended for its reception. The annexed 
diagram is given in order to explain the principle on which 
Sikes' self-registering thermometer is constructed : Briefly it 
may be styled a spirit- thermometer, with a prolonged stem 
ending in an inverted mercurial syphon, the two surfaces of 
the mercury syphon working small indexes which register 
the temperature. 

a a, is the thermometer bulb filled with alcohol. 

b b, the thermometer stem. 

ccdde, a prolongation of the thermometer stem. 

c c c c, the portion of the prolonged stem filled with mercury. 

d d, further prolongation of the stem filled with alcohol. 

e, a small bulb at the top filled with air or vapour of alcohol. 

//, two small indexes worked by the mercurial surfaces. 

The error in the indications of the instrument which I have 
alluded to, arises in periods of extreme variations of tempera- 
ture. It is occasioned by the great difference in the specific 
gravities of mercury and of alcohol, and also from the mer- 
cury not adhering to the tube as the alcohol does. In frosty 
weather the mercury on the side b b stands highest, but in 
warm weather the side d d is the higher ; the difference in 
level often amounts to a hydrostatic pressure equal to one 
pound per superficial inch. The part of the syphon occupied 
by the mercury is coated with a film of alcohol, which connects 
the alcohol of the thermometer a abb, with the alcohol in the 
part d d. Now when there is a difference of pressure in the 
arms of the mercurial syphon, alcohol passes slowly by a ca- 
pillary process from the one side of the syphon to the other, 
to restore the equilibrium of the mercury, and in doing so 
destroys the accuracy of the instrument; for it is necessary 
that the quantity of alcohol in the thermometric part a abb, 
should be constant. This is the fault of Sikes' registering ther- 
mometer ; in practise, both sides of the mercury exhibit the 
same reading, yet when a mercurial thermometer is sus- 
pended beside it, the indication is found 7 to 10 degrees 
wrong. For this great error, there is no direct remedy, but 
the following addition is a ready mode of making the instru- 

86 Memoir o* the late 

ment efficient by shewing at all times what the derangement 
amounts to. Before sealing the end of the bulb a a, I propose 
to insert a delicate mercurial thermometer on an ivory scale 
g g g similar to the one inserted in the bulb and stem of 
Daniel's hygrometer. The reading of this inside thermome- 
ter will be a check on the error arising from the transfer of 
alcohol from side to side of the syphon, and when the regis- 
ter differs from the inside mercurial thermometer reading the 
difference must be used to correct the register. With a 
Sikes' thermometer thus constructed and placed in the open 
air. it will soon be seen how variable the differences between 
the register and the enclosed thermometer are, in conse- 
quence of the alcohol passing from side to side of the syphon 
to restore the equilibrium. Indoors, where the range of 
temperature is small, the differences will be much less. 

In concluding, it may be well to mention another source of 
variation between the readings of a mercurial and of a spirit 
thermometer, which for registers requires to be guarded 
against. It is the action of light on the opaque mercury and 
the transparent alcohol : the light increases the temperature 
of the opaque body more than that of the transparent one ; 
consequently in a bright day, a mercurial thermometer gives 
a higher reading than one of alcohol does, and to obtain from 
them corresponding results the light must be excluded. On 
the mercury thermometer in the bulb of Sikes' thermometer 
the effect of the light will be nearly prevented by the alcohol 
in contact with the mercurial bulb ; so that in this proposed 
construction, in a bright light the mercury and spirit will 
read closely together, both standing lower than a detached 
mercurial thermometer. 

Memoir of the late Dr Thomas Thomson, F.R.S., M.W.S., 
fyc., Professor of Chemistry in the College of Glasgow. 
Communicated by his relative, Dr R. Dundas Thomson. 

[Having laid before our readers Gustav Rose's complete 
biography of Professor Berzelius, it is now our duty to com- 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 87 

municate, for their information, a Memoir of his celebrated 
contemporary and rival, the late Dr Thomas Thomson.*] 

Thomas Thomson, M.D.,F.R.S., Regius Professor of Che- 
mistry in the University of Glasgow, was the seventh child 
and youngest son of John Thomson and Elizabeth Ewan, 
and was born at Crieff on the 12th April 1773. He was first 
educated at the parish school of Crieff, and was sent, in 1786, 
in his thirteenth year, for two years, by the advice of his 
brother and of his uncle, the Rev. John Ewan, minister 
of the parish of Whittingham, in East Lothian, a man of 
some independent means, to the burgh school of Stirling, 
at that time presided over by Dr Doig, the distinguished 
author of the " Letters on the Savage State." Here he ac- 
quired a thorough classical education, the benefits of which 
have been so signally manifested in his numerous improve- 
ments of chemical nomenclature now generally adopted in 
the science. In consequence of having written a Latin Ho- 
ratian poem of considerable merit, his uncle was recom- 
mended by Principal M'Cormack of St Andrews to advise 
that he should try for a bursary at that University, which 
was open to public competition. He accordingly went, in 
1788, to that school of learning, which has produced among 
its celebrated scientific students in our own day, a Playfair, 
an Ivory, and a Leslie, &c, and, having stood an examina- 
tion, carried the scholarship, which entitled him to board and 
lodging at the University for three years. In 1790 he came 
to Edinburgh, and became tutor in the family of Mr Kerr, of 
Blackshiels, one of his pupils being afterwards well known 
in connection with the bank of Leith. At the end of 1791, 
being desirous of studying medicine, he came to Edinburgh, 
and resided with his elder brother, now the Rev. James 
Thomson, D.D., minister of the parish of Eccles, one of the 
fathers of the Church of Scotland, the author of many arti- 
cles in the " Encyclopaedia,' ' and of a recent work on the 
Gospel by St Luke, who survives, and had succeeded the 

* The conflicting statements made by Berzelius and Thomson may give rise 
to explanations from the friends of the illustrious and distinguished philoso- 
phers — Ed. of Edin, New Phil, Journal. 

88 Memoir of the late 

late Bishop Walker as colleague to Dr (afterwards Bishop) 
Gleig, father of the present eminent Inspector of Army Edu- 
cation, in the editorship of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica." 
It was in the session of 1795-96 that Dr Thomson attended 
the lectures of the celebrated Dr Black, of whom he always 
spoke in terms of the utmost veneration and of gratitude for 
those invaluable instructions which first awoke the latent 
taste for the science of which he was destined to become so 
bright an ornament. In this session he wrote the article 
" Sea " for the " Encyclopaedia." In November 1796, he suc- 
ceeded his brother in the editorship of the Supplement to the 
third edition of the " Encyclopaedia," and remained in this 
position till 1800. It was during this period that he drew 
up the first outline of his " System of Chemistry," which 
appeared in the Supplement to the " Encyclopaedia, 1 ' under 
the articles Chemistry, Mineralogy, Vegetable Substances, 
Animal Substances, and Dyeing Substances. These all ap- 
peared before the 10th December 1800, when the preface 
was published, in which it is stated, by Dr Gleig, of the 
author " of these beautiful articles, a man of like principles 
with Dr Bobison, it is needless to say anything, since the 
public seems to be fully satisfied that they prove their author 
eminently qualified to teach the science of chemistry.'' From 
this authority we infer that it was during the winter session 
of 1800-1 he first gave a chemical course. Hence, he ap- 
pears to have been before the public as a lecturer for the 
long period of fifty-two years, and, as he used lately to say, 
he believed he lived to be the oldest teacher in Europe. 

1. It was in the article Mineralogy, written about 1798, that 
he first introduced the use of symbols into chemical science, 
universally acknowledged to be one of the most valuable im- 
provements in modern times. In this article he arranges 
minerals into genera, according to their composition. Thus 
his first genus is A, or alumina, under which are two species, 
topaz and corundum, in accordance with the analyses of the 
day. The second genus is A M C, comprising spinell, which, 
according to Vanquelin, contained alumina, magnesia, and 
chrome iron. The fourth genus is S, including the varieties 
of silica or quartz. The eighth genus is SAG, or silica, 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 89 

alumina, and glucina, including the emerald or beryl ; and 
thus he proceeds throughout. In the editions of his " Sys- 
tem," the first of which (a development of the original article 
in the Encyclopedia) was published in 1802, he continued 
the same arrangement and symbols, and was thus not only 
the originator of symbolic nomenclature in modern chemistry, 
but was the first chemist to bring mineralogy systematically 
within the domain of that science. In the third edition of 
his " System,' 1 published in 1807, in illustrating the atomic 
theory of Dalton, and in his article on oxalic acid, in the 
Philosophical Transactions for 1808, he freely uses symbols. 
Berzelius, who appeared some years later on the chemical 
stage, being Dr Thomson's junior by five years, published a 
work in 1814, in Swedish, in which he adopted the system 
of symbols used by Dr Thomson, with some modifications, 
(the introduction of Latin initials in certain cases,) but 
he strictly " followed the rules for this purpose given by 
Thornton in his ' System of Chemistry,'' " (och skall dervid 
fblga en enledning som Thomson gifvit i sin kemiska hand- 
bok.) The work in which this passage occurs, entitled " For- 
sok att genom anvandandet af den elecktrokemiska theorien, 
<fcc, grundlagga for mineralogier," af J. Jacob Berzelius, 
Stockholm, 1814, p. 18, was sent by Berzelius to Dr Thom- 
son, in the same year, with a request, in a letter which is 
still extant, that he would endeavour to procure a translator 
for it. Dr Thomson applied to Dr Marcet and others with- 
out success ; but at last prevailed on his learned friend, John 
Black, Esq., who so ably conducted the " Morning Chronicle" 
for many years, to undertake the task. Dr Thomson gradu- 
ated in 1799. 2. He continued to lecture in Edinburgh till 
about 1811, and during that time opened a laboratory for 
pupils, the first of the kind it is believed in Great Britain. 
Among those who worked in his laboratory were Dr Henry 
of Manchester, a chemist for whom he had always the 
greatest regard, who had visited Edinburgh for the purpose 
of graduation, and who there made many of his experiments 
on the analysis of the constituents of coal gas. 3. During 
this period, likewise, Dr Thomson made his important inves- 
tigations for Government on the malt and distillation ques- 

90 Memoir of the late 

tions, which laid the basis of the Scottish legislation on 
excise, and rendered him in after-life the arbitrator in many 
important revenue cases. 4. He likewise invented his sac- 
charometer, which is still used by the Scottish excise under 
the title of Allan's saccharometer. 5. In 1807, he first 
introduced to the notice of the world, in the third edition of 
his " System," Dalton's views of the atomic theory, which 
had been privately communicated to him in 1804. He did 
not confine his remarks to mere details, but made many 
important new deductions, and by his clear, perspicuous, 
and transparent style, rendered the new theory soon univer- 
sally known and appreciated. Had Bichter possessed such a 
friend as Thomson, the atomic theory of Dalton would have 
long been previously fully discovered, and attributed to Rich- 
ter. In his papers on this theory, which occupied much of 
his thoughts, from the mathematical precision which it pro- 
mised to impart to the science, we find numerous suggestions 
cautiously offered, which have often been subsequently exa- 
mined and confirmed, or developed in another direction. 
Thus, in August 1813, he states, that, according to the atomic 
numbers then determined, " an atom of phosphorus is ten 
times as heavy as an atom of hydrogen. None of the other 
atoms appear to be multiples of -132 (the atom of hydrogen 
at that time adopted by chemists), so that if we pitch upon 
hydrogen for our unit, the weight of all the atoms will be 
fractional quantities, except that of phosphorus alone." It 
was undoubtedly this observation which caused Dr Prout to 
make new inquiries, and to announce, in November 1815, the 
view that the relation of phosphorus as a multiple of hydro- 
gen, as detected by Thomson, may be general, connecting all 
other atomic weights with that unit, a view now generally 
adopted, and considered as a nearly demonstrated law. 

The existence of such mathematical relations Dr Thomson 
was continually in the habit of testing at the conclusion of 
his own researches, or in examining the experiments of 
others. Any peculiarity of character in a substance hitherto 
known, or in a newly-discovered body, he never failed to 
point out in his " System ; " and innumerable instances have 
occurred, and might be mentioned if our space admitted, 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 91 

where lucrative patents have resulted from a simple state- 
ment or foot-note, often original, on the part of the author. 
A fact of this kind in the " Animal Chemistry 1 ' led Mr Robert 
Pattison to his ingenious patent invention of lactarin, a pre- 
paration of casein from milk, for fixing ultramarine on cotton 
cloth ; and Dr Thomson's systematic plan of describing all 
the characters of bodies in detail led Henry Rose, of Berlin, 
to the discovery of niobium and pelopium, two new metals. 
From the fragments of four imperfect crystals of certain 
tantalites, as the mineral dealers who sold them to him 
termed them, he was enabled to make some analyses, and to 
take a series of specific gravities, which he published in a 
paper " On the Minerals containing Columbium," in his ne- 
phew Dr R. D. Thomson's " Records of General Science," 
vol. iv., p. 407, in 1836. He found that these minerals pos- 
sessed an analogous constitution, but their specific gravity 
differs. He termed them, toreylifce, columbite, tantalite, and 
ferrofjantalite. In making his experiments, he expended all 
the material he possessed, and he had passed the great cli- 
macteric. Professor Rose, struck with the facts, examined 
the minerals upon a greater scale, and, after immense labour, 
shewed that not only columbic or tantalic acid was present 
in these minerals, but likewise two new acids, niobic and 
pelopic acids. Instances of this kind of contribution made 
by Dr Thomson to chemistry might be indefinitely particu- 
larised. About 1802 he invented the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, 
in which he introduced the oxygen and hydrogen into one 
vessel, but the whole apparatus having blown up and nearly 
proved fatal to him, he placed the gases in separate gas- 
holders. His apparatus of this description has been annually 
exhibited in the Chemistry class of the College of Glasgow, and 
has been figured in Dr R. D. Thomson's " School Chemistry.'' 
At that time he made many experiments on its powers of 
fusion, but as Dr Hare had invented an apparatus at the 
same time, and published his experiments, Dr Thomson did 
no more than exhibit the apparatus in his lectures. 7. In 
August 1804, in a paper on lead, he first published his new 
nomenclature of the oxides and acids, in which Latin and 
Greek numerals were made to denote the number of atoms 

92 Memoir of the late 

of oxygen in an oxide. He thus introduces this important 
invention, which has been almost universally adopted in the 
science : — li As colour is a very ambiguous criterion for 
distinguishing metallic oxides, I have been accustomed for 
some time to denote the oxide with a minimum of oxygen, 
by prefixing the Greek ordinal number to the term oxide. 
Thus, protoxide of lead is lead united to a minimum of oxy- 
gen ; the oxide, with a maximum of oxygen, I call peroxide. 
Thus, brown oxide of lead is the peroxide of lead. I deno- 
minate the intermediate degrees of oxidizement by prefixing 
the Greek ordinals, 2d, 3d, 4th, &c. Thus, deutoxide is 
the second oxide of lead, tritoxide of cobalt the third oxide 
of cobalt, and so on." This paper was translated and pub- 
lished in France ; the nomenclature was speedily introduced 
into that country. But the improvements which he after- 
wards adopted, by denoting the exact number of atoms of 
oxygen present by the Latin, and those of the base by the 
Greek numerals, and used in Great Britain, never super- 
seded, in that country, the original suggestion in the above 
note. 8. All these inventions were merely particular parts 
of a systematic arrangement adopted in his " System of 
Chemistry," a work which, if carefully examined with a 
philosophic eye, will be found to have produced beneficial 
results to chemical science similar to those which the systems 
of Ray, Linnseus, and Jussieu effected for botany. In his 
second edition, published in 1804, (the first large edition 
having been sold in less than ten months,) he divided the 
consideration of chemical bodies into — Book I. Simple sub- 
stances : 1. Confinable bodies, including oxygen, simple com- 
bustibles, simple incombustibles, metals ; 2. Unconfinable 
bodies, comprising heat and light. Book II. Compound 
bodies : 1. Primary compounds ; 2. Secondary compounds, 
&c. It is most interesting to observe how his plan was 
developed with the progress of the science in the different 
editions. It is sufficient to say that it was generally con- 
sidered as a masterly arrangement, and used to be quoted 
by the Professor of Logic in Edinburgh, as an admirable 
example of his analytic and synthetic methods. Previous to 
the publication of his " System" British chemists were con- 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 93 

tented with translations from the French, and hence it was 
believed on the Continent that ' : Britain possessed scarcely a 
scientific chemist." That all his contemporaries viewed his 
plans as highly philosophic cannot be affirmed. There are 
some men who, having no mental powers of arrangement in 
themselves, discover in a systematic treatise only a compila- 
tion possessing the generic characters of matter ; while 
those who can pry below the surface, on the other hand, 
know that the art of arranging is one of the most difficult 
tasks of the philosopher ; that it requires a comprehensive- 
ness of mind, a clearness of judgment, and a patience of 
labour, which fall to the lot of a small number of the human 
race. When we recollect that many of these remarkable 
views began to be devised by the self-taught chemist, in a 
narrow close in the High Street of Edinburgh, the author 
being in the receipt of a salary of £50 a year, from which he 
sent £15 to his aged parents ; when we contrast such a pic- 
ture with the costly education and refined apparatus of the 
modern laboratory, it is impossible to avoid the inference 
that Britain has just lost a genius of no common order. 

One immediate result of the publication of his " System,'' 
was the appropriation of their due merit to respective dis- 
coverers, and especially to British chemists, who had been 
overlooked in the Continental treatises. It was the subject 
of our memoir who thus first imparted to us the true history 
of chemistry, and in doing so often gave offence to disap- 
pointed individuals ; but the honesty of his nature and his 
unswerving love of truth never allowed him for a moment to 
sacrifice, even in his own case, the fact to the fallacy. 

During the first years of this century, he discovered many 
new compounds and minerals, as chloride of sulphur, allanite, 
sodalite, &c. ; but to give a list of the numerous salts which 
he first formed and described during his onward career, 
would be difficult, as he scarcely ever treated of them in 
separate papers, but introduced them into the body of his 
u System" without any claim to their discovery. His exact 
mind was more directed towards accurate knowledge and 
principles than to novelties, merely for their own sake, al- 
though there is probably no chemist who has added so many 

94 Memoir of the late 

new bodies to the science. Hence many of his discoveries 
have been attributed to others, or rediscovered over and over 
again ; as was the case with many of his chromium com- 
pounds — viz., chlorochromic acid, the two potash oxalates of 
chromium, bichromate of silver, potash chromate of magnesia, 
chromate of chromium, hyposulphurous acid (1817), and hy- 
drosulphurous acid (1818), S 5 5 , &c, &c, all of which were ex- 
amined by him nearly a quarter of a century ago. The enume- 
ration of these and numerous other discoveries must be left to 
a more extended memoir, for which we understand there is a 
mass of matter having an important bearing on the science 
and literature of the country in the early part of the century. 
In 1810, Dr Thomson published his " Elements of Che- 
mistry," in a single volume, his object being to furnish an 
accurate outline of the actual state of the science. In 1812, 
he produced his " History of the Royal Society,'' a most im- 
portant work, as shewing the influence which that society 
produced on the progress of science. In August 1812, he 
made a tour in Sweden, and published his observations in 
that country in the following year. It is still a valuable 
work, and contains a very complete view of the state of 
science and society in that country. In 1813, he went to Lon- 
don, and started the " Annals of Philosophy," a periodical 
which he continued to conduct till 1822, when the numerous 
calls upon his time in the discharge of the duties of his chair 
at Glasgow compelled him to resign the editorship in favour 
of Mr Richard Phillips, one of his oldest friends, who pre- 
deceased him by one year. The journal was, in 1827, pur- 
chased by Mr Richard Taylor, and was merged in the " Phi- 
losophical Magazine." In 1817, he was appointed Lecturer 
on Chemistry in the University of Glasgow ; and, in 1818, 
at the instance of the late Duke of Montrose, Chancellor of 
that institution, the appointment was made a professorship, 
with a small salary, under the patronage of the Crown. As 
soon after his appointment as he was enabled to obtain a 
laboratory, he commenced his researches into the atomic 
constitution of chemical bodies, and produced an amount of 
unparalleled work in the whole range of the science, in 1825, 
by the publication of his " Attempt to Establish the First 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 95 

Principles of Chemistry by Experiment," in two volumes. 
It contained "the result of many thousand experiments, 
conducted with as much care and precision as it was in his 
power to employ." In this work he gives the specific gra- 
vities of all the important gases, ascertained by careful ex- 
periment. In these researches he had associated with him 
Mr Alexander Harvey as his assistant, a gentleman pos- 
sessed of high mechanical and intellectual talents, who has 
since risen to eminence as a valuable citizen and magistrate 
of his adopted city. The data thus ascertained were often 
disputed and attacked in strong but unphilosophical terms, 
as they tended to supersede previous experimental deduc- 
tions ; but the excellent subsequent determinations of spe- 
cific gravities by Dumas, which were made at the request of 
Dr Thomson, after that distinguished chemist had visited 
him at Glasgow in 1840, fully substantiated the greater ac- 
curacy of Dr Thomson's numbers over those which preceded 
him, and in most cases furnished an identity of result. The 
atomic numbers given in his " First Principles" as the result 
of his labours, were the means of a vast number of experi- 
ments made by himself and pupils, the data of which still 
exist in his series of note-books. They all tended to the re- 
sult that the atomic weights of bodies are multiples by a 
whole number of the atomic weight of hydrogen, a canon 
confirmed to a great extent by the recent experiments of 
French and German chemists, and which he himself was the 
first to point out in the case of phosphorus. That the author 
of our memoir was frequently in error in his experiments is 
not attempted to be denied ; for, as the great Liebig has 
said, it is only the sluggard in chemistry who commits no 
faults ; but all his atomic weights of important bodies have 
been confirmed. After the publication of this work, he de- 
voted himself to the examination of the inorganic kingdom 
of nature, purchasing and collecting every species of mineral 
obtainable, until his museum, which he has left behind him, 
became not only one of the noblest mineral collections in the 
kingdom, but a substantial monument of his taste and of his 
devotion to science. The results of his investigation of mi- 
nerals were published in 1836, in his " Outlines of Mine- 

96 Memoir of the late 

ralogy and Geology," in two vols., and contained an account 
of about fifty new minerals which he had discovered in a 
period of little more than ten years. In 1830-31, Dr 
Thomson published his " History of Chemistry," a master- 
piece of learning and research. During these feats of philo- 
sophic labour, the eyes of the community were attracted to 
Glasgow as the source from which the streams of chemistry 
flowed, the class of chemistry and the laboratory being 
flocked to as to fountains of inspiration. Could the splendid 
results of his teaching be more powerfully demonstrated 
than in the enumeration of the faithful students of truth 
who have emanated from his school ? Among his older 
pupils, John Tennant of St Rollox, Walter Crum, Alexander 
Harvey, Thomas Graham, Thomas Clark, Andrew Steel, 
James F. W. Johnston ; and, of a junior class, Thomas An- 
drews, R. D. Thomson, William Elythe of Church, Andrew 
P. Halliday of Manchester, Thomas Richardson, John Sten- 
house, John Tennent of Bonnington, &c., have all occupied 
positions as chemical teachers or manufacturers of the 
highest character in the kingdom. 

It would be a great omission not to mention that it was 
Dr Thomson who introduced a system of giving annual re- 
ports on the progress of science in his " Annals of Philo- 
sophy ;'' the first of these was published in 1813, and the 
last in 1819. These reports were characterised by his usual 
perspicuity and love of suum cuique which distinguished his 
conduct through life, and were composed with a mildness of 
criticism far more conducive to the dignity of the science 
than those which, three years after his reports had ceased, 
were begun by the distinguished Swedish chemist, Berzelius. 
In 1835, when Dr R. D. Thomson started his journal, " The 
Records of General Science," his uncle contributed to almost 
every number, and encouraged him by his sympathy in his 
attempts to advance science. 

Dr Thomson continued to lecture till the year 1841, dis- 
charging all the duties of his chair without assistance ; but 
being then in his 69th year, and feeling his bodily powers 
becoming more faint, he associated with him at that period 
his nephew and son-in-law, Dr R. D. Thomson, who was 

Professor Thomas Thomson. 97 

then resident in London. He continued, however, to deliver 
the inorganic course only till 1846, when the dangerous ill- 
ness of his second son, from disease contracted in India, 
hurried him for the winter to Nice, when his nephew was 
appointed by the University to discharge the duties of the 
chair, which he has continued since to perform. Of the 
hardship of being obliged in his old age thus to toil in har- 
ness, and to have no retiring allowance, he never murmured 
or complained. But there were not wanting suggestions, 
that one who had raised himself to eminence from compara- 
tive obscurity, and who had benefited his country in no 
common measure, might have been relieved in some degree 
by the guardians of the state, without popular disaffection, 
from fatigues which even a green old age cannot long sustain. 
Dr Thomson continued to attend the examinations for degrees 
for some years after retiring from the duties of the chair ; 
but in consequence of the increasing defect in his hearing, 
he ultimately gave up this duty, and confined his public 
labours to attendance at the fortnightly meetings of the 
winter session of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow (of 
which he was president from the year 1834), until the last 
two sessions — his last appearance there having been on the 
6th November, at the first meeting of the session 1850-51, 
when he read a biographical account of his old and affec- 
tionate friend, Dr Wollaston, to whom he was ever most 
strongly attached. During the early part of the present 
year, his frame became visibly weaker, and latterly having 
removed to the country, where it was hoped the freshness 
of the summer season might brace his languishing powers, 
his appetite failed ; but no pain appeared to mar the tranquil 
exit of the philosophic spirit. To inquiries after his health, 
— " I am quite well, but weak," the good old man replied, 
within a few hours of his last summons. On the morning of 
the 2d of July, he breathed his last in the bosom of his 
affectionate family, on the lovely shores of the Holy Loch. 
Dr Thomson married, in 1816, Miss Agnes Colquhoun, 
daughter of Mr Colquhoun, distiller, near Stirling, with 
whom he enjoyed most complete and uninterrupted hap- 
piness. He was left a widower in 1834. He has left a son, 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVir. — JANUARY 1853. G 

98 Mr Rankine an the Reconcentration of the 

Dr Thomas Thomson, of the Bengal army, the author of 
" Travels in Tibet," about to appear, — the result of several 
years' researches into the botany and physical structure of 
the Himalaya Mountains ; and a daughter, married to her 
cousin, Dr R. D. Thomson. On strangers, Dr Thomson 
occasionally made unfavourable impressions ; but by all who 
knew him intimately, he was universally recognised as the 
most friendly and benevolent of men. He contributed to 
most of the charitable institutions of the city, and was never 
once known to refuse assistance to the poor and friendless. 
Dr Thomson was originally destined for the Church of Scot- 
land, and continued to the last a faithful adherent. He was 
wont to attribute his sound and intellectual views of the 
Christian faith to the care of his mother — a woman of great 
beauty and sense ; and it was perhaps from his affection for 
her that his favourite axiom originated — that the talents are 
derived from the maternal parent. Who shall prescribe 
exact limits to the benefits conferred on her country and her 
race by this humble, but pious Christian woman, who taught 
in early life religion to her elder son, the author of the article 
Scripture, in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," which, in the 
third, and many subsequent editions of that work, has been 
read and distributed over the globe for nearly half a century, 
to a greater extent than perhaps any other religious treatise, 
and who gave the earliest impressions of his relations to his 
Maker to the great chemical philosopher?* 

On the Reconcentration of the Mechanical Energy of the 
Universe. By William John Macquorn Rankine, 
C.E, F.R.S.E., &ct 

The following remarks have been suggested by a paper by 

* [The very prominent part Dr Thomson took in the important and harmo- 
niously-conducted discussions in the Royal Society of Edinburgh on the Wer- 
nerian and Huttonian geologies, and which led to the establishment of the Wer- 
nerian Society of Edinburgh, and the Geological Society of London, &c, should 
have formed an important feature in his Biography. — Ed. Edin. New Phil. Jour.] 

t Read to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Section A, 
at Belfast, on the 2d September 1852. 

Mechanical 'Energy of the Universe. 99 

Professor William Thomson of Glasgow, on the tendency 
which exists in nature to the dissipation or indefinite diffu- 
sion of the mechanical energy originally collected in stores 
of power. 

The experimental evidence is every day accumulating of a 
law which has long been conjectured to exist, — that all the dif- 
ferent kinds of physical energy in the universe are mutually 
convertible — that the total amount of physical energy, whether 
in the form of visible motion and mechanical power, or of 
heat, light, magnetism, electricity, or chemical agency, or 
in other forms not yet understood, is unchangeably the trans- 
formations of its different portions from one of those forms 
of power into another, and their transference from one por- 
tion of matter to another, constituting the phenomena which 
are the objects of experimental physics. 

Professor William Thomson has pointed out the fact, that 
there exists (at least in the present state of the known world) 
a predominating tendency to the conversion of all the other 
forms of physical energy into heat, and to the uniform diffu- 
sion of all heat throughout all matter. The form in which 
we generally find energy originally collected, is that of a store 
of chemical power, consisting of uncombined elements. The 
combination of these elements produces energy in the form 
known by the name of electric currents, part only of which 
can be employed in analysing compounds, or in reproducing 
electric currents. If the remainder of the heat be employed 
in expanding an elastic substance, it may be entirely con- 
verted into visible motion, or into a store of visible mechani- 
cal power (by raising weights, for example) provided the 
elastic substance is enabled to expand until its temperature 
falls to the point which corresponds to absolute privation of 
heat ; but unless this condition be fulfilled, a certain pro- 
portion only of the heat, depending upon the range of tem- 
perature through which the elastic body works, can be con- 
verted, the rest remaining in the state of heat. On the other 
hand, all visible motion is of necessity ultimately converted 
entirely into heat by the agency of friction. There is thus, in 
the present state of the known world, a tendency towards the 
conversion of all physical energy into the sole form of heat. 

G 2 

100 Mechanical Energy of the Universe. 

Heat, moreover, tends to diffuse itself uniformly by con- 
duction and radiation, until all matter shall have acquired 
the same temperature. 

There is, consequently, Professor Thomson concludes, so 
far as we understand the present condition of the universe, 
a tendency towards a state in which all physical energy will 
be in the state of heat, and that heat so diffused, that all 
matter will be at the same temperature ; so that there will 
be an end of all physical phenomena. Vast as this specula- 
tion may seem, it appears to be soundly based on experi- 
mental data, and to represent truly the present condition of 
the universe, so far as we know it. 

My object now is to point out how it is conceivable that, 
at some indefinitely distant period, an opposite condition of 
the world may take place, in which the energy which is now 
being diffused may be concentrated into foci, and stores of 
chemical power again produced from the inert compounds 
which are now being continually formed. 

There must exist between the atmospheres of the heavenly 
bodies a material medium capable of transmitting light and 
heat ; and it may be regarded as almost certain, that this 
interstellar medium is perfectly transparent and diatherman- 
ous ; that is to say, that it is incapable of converting heat, or 
light (which is a species of heat), from the radiant into the 
fixed or conductible form. 

If this be the case, the interstellar medium must be incap- 
able of acquiring any temperature whatever; and all heat 
which arrives in the conductible form at the limits of the 
atmosphere of a star or planet, will there be totally con- 
verted, partly into ordinary motion, by the expansion of the 
atmosphere, and partly into the radiant form. The ordinary 
motion will again be converted into heat, so that radiant heat 
is the ultimate form to which all physical energy tends ; and 
in this form it is, in the present condition of the world, dif- 
fusing itself from the heavenly bodies through the interstellar 

Let it now be supposed, that, in all directions round the 
visible world, the interstellar medium has bounds, beyond 
which there is empty space. 

Professor Agassiz on the Classification of Insects. 101 

If this conjecture be true, then, on reaching these bounds, 
the radiant heat of the world will be totally reflected, and 
will ultimately be reconcentrated into foci. At each of these 
foci, the intensity of heat may be expected to be such, that, 
should a star (being at that period an extinct mass oT inert 
compounds), in the course of its motions, arrive at that part 
of space, it will be vaporised and resolved into its elements ; 
a store of chemical power being thus reproduced at the ex- 
pense of a corresponding amount of radiant heat 

Thus it appears, that, although, from what we can see of 
the known world, its condition seems to tend continually 
towards the equable diffusion, in the form of radiant heat, 
of all physical energy, the extinction of the stars, and the 
cessation of all phenomena, yet the world, as now created, 
may possibly be provided within itself with the means of re- 
concentrating its physical energies, and renewing its activity 
and life. 

For aught we know, these opposite processes may go on 
together, and some of the luminous objects which we see in 
distant regions of space may be not stars, but foci in the 
interstellar sether. 

The Classification of Insects from Embryological Data. 
By Professor Louis Agassiz. 

I. General Considerations. 
The various classifications of insects which have been 
proposed by zoologists rest either on considerations derived 
from their external characters and form, and in part from 
their internal structure, or on the various modes of their de- 
velopment from the egg. The earliest writers on classifica- 
tion availed themselves principally of the number and struc- 
ture of their wings, to divide the numberless insects into 
several general divisions, and such an arrangement, as finally 
adopted by Linnaeus, has prevailed to a great extent, some- 
times modified by the introduction of some smaller groups, 

102 Professor xigassiz on the 

which have been more generally admitted by English writers 
than by those of the Continent of Europe. 

Fabricius introduced an entirely new view of the subject, 
dividing the insects according to the structure of the organs 
by which they take their food, and the various structures and 
degrees of complication of the jaws became the foundation 
of his system, which he not only applied in a general manner, 
but worked out in all its details, assigning even to the smaller 
divisions characters derived chiefly from the peculiar form of 
those parts. 

More recently the metamorphosis of insects has been made 
the foundation of their classification, and they have been 
grouped according to the extent of changes they undergo from 
the egg, and according to the condition in which the young 
animal remains for a time before it has arrived at its com- 
plete perfect growth. 

According to these views, those insects that are hatched 
from the egg with a form very similar to the full-grown per- 
fect animal, and which undergo slight or only partial changes 
during their growth, such as the additional development of 
wings, or which remain active throughout their metamor- 
phosis, have generally been considered as belonging to one 
and the same great division, and have been brought together 
as insects without metamorphosis, or with imperfect meta- 
morphosis. On the other hand, such insects as are hatched 
from the egg in the form of a maggot, grub, or caterpillar, 
resembling worms in their earlier period of life more than 
they resemble the perfect insects which are to grow out of 
them, and from that condition passing into the state of im- 
movable mummy-like pupoe, or chrysalids, and during this 
period taking no food, but afterwards giving rise to a winged, 
perfect fly, beetle, or butterfly, have been considered as in- 
sects with perfect metamorphoses, and on that account have 
been brought together in one great division. 

A glance at the classification resting upon such considera- 
tions will shew, that each of these fundamental divisions 
contains insects, which, in their perfect condition, chew their 
food with powerful jaws, and others which are provided with 

Classification of Insects. 103 

suckers to pump the more liquid nourishment upon which 
they live. It has long been a question with me, whether the 
nature of the metamorphoses or the structure of the jaws 
was to be considered as the prominent character on which 
to found the primary divisions. It struck me as possible, 
that a classification, in which the chewing insects should be 
brought together, and all sucking insects combined in another 
group, and both of them subdivided according to their trans- 
formations, might lead to as natural an arrangement as a 
classification resting in its fundamental divisions upon con- 
siderations derived from the metamorphoses alone. In order 
to satisfy myself upon the importance of these two sets of 
characters, I have examined the metamorphoses themselves, 
which various groups of insects undergo, and have been 
deeply impressed with the fact, that most of those insects 
which undergo the so-called complete metamorphosis, are 
provided, in their early stages of growth, with a chewing 
apparatus, which is gradually transformed into the various 
kinds of suckers with which the perfect insects are pro- 

This led me to the question, whether the structure of this 
peculiar apparatus for chewing food did not indicate, among 
insects, a condition of existence lower than that of those 
insects which assume, during their metamorphosis, another 
type of jaws in the shape of a sucker. And upon that sug- 
gestion I attempted an arrangement of the different orders 
of insects, which seems to me not only more natural, but to 
correspond more fully with the lessons of embryology. I pro- 
pose the following classification : — 

I. Chewing Insects II. Sucking Insects 
(Mandibulata). (Haustellata). 

Neuroptera, Hemiptera, 

Coleoptera, Diptera, 

Orthoptera, Lepidoptera. 


The reason why Coleoptera have been so universally con- 
sidered as the highest among insects, is plainly shewn by 

104 Professor Agassiz on the 

the position assigned to Cicindela, which is placed at the 
head. That group is the most carnivorous of the order. But 
I do not think it right to assign to the carnivorous insects 
the highest rank, if there is no other reason to consider them 
as such than the fact, that among Mammalia the Carnivora 
rank higher than the herbivorous animals. 

Far from inclining to such views, 1 am prepared to shew 
that the very fact of the complication of their jaws, and the 
multiplication of their parts, the greater resemblance which 
those parts have to common legs, the immobility of the pro- 
thorax, the hardness of their anterior wings, the frequent 
deficiency of the lower wings, the similarity in structure be- 
tween the jaws of the larva and those of the perfect insect, 
are so many characters which assign to the Coleoptera a 
lower rank than that of the Lepidoptera. 

Indeed, if we institute a comparison between Coleoptera 
and Lepidoptera, we are struck with the greater resemblance 
between the former when perfect, and the caterpillar, than 
between the beetle and the butterfly. It may be said, that 
the beetle preserves the characters of the larvse of other in- 
sects, and assumes only wings and more developed legs in 
addition, without reaching other successive metamorphoses, 
— those other changes through which the caterpillar passes 
before it is transformed into the perfect image. 

This being once granted, it must be acknowledged in ge- 
neral, that chewing insects should rank lower than sucking 
insects ; and we may perhaps find in the complete matamor- 
phoses of the higher Haustellata sufficient data to carry out 
this view in determining the relative position to be assigned 
to all the orders of that class. 

Among the mandibulate insects, for instance, we have, 
besides Coleoptera, the Orthoptera, Neuroptera, and Hy- 
menoptera. Now, the Neuroptera, though undergoing me- 
tamorphoses as complete, in many respects, as the Coleop- 
tera, have larva? whose structure seems decidedly lower than 
that of the Coleoptera, for they are mostly aquatic worms, 
provided not only with powerful jaws and all the complicated 
chewing apparatus of mandibulate insects, but also with 
aquatic respiratory organs, namely true external gills simi- 

Classification of Bisects. 105 

lar to those of the aquatic worms. And the great and com- 
plicated changes which they undergo, both in structure and 
form, lead to a development which does not rank higher than 
that observed among Coleoptera. Indeed, the soft wings of 
Neuroptera indicate, in my opinion, a character of low deve- 
lopment ; for their peculiar structure resembles more that of 
the wings of the young butterfly, before passing into the con- 
dition of the pupa, than that of the elytra. The wings of 
Coleoptera, again, resemble more closely the condition of the 
wings in the pupa of the butterfly, at the period when the 
outer wing is hardened and soldered to the body, covering 
the lower wings, which remain soft. I would, therefore, 
without hesitation, place Neuroptera as the lowest order of 

Next might come the Coleoptera, followed by the Orthop- 
tera ; for Hymenoptera, no doubt, rank highest in this divi- 
sion. To satisfy ourselves that this is the case, we need only 
consider the structure of their jaws, the upper pair of which 
alone preserve the character of chewing insects, while the 
lower are transformed into a kind of proboscis very similar 
to that of Haustellata. Again, their larvae rank higher than 
the larvse of either Neuroptera or Coleoptera. They are 
for the most part larvae with aerial respiratory organs, and 
in that respect, rank decidedly above those of Neuroptera, 
and might be considered as of equal value with those of 

Though the fact, that many Hymenoptera have caterpillar- 
like larvae, will at once place them one stage higher, that is, 
nearer the Haustellata, some facts presently to be mentioned, 
respecting the changes which caterpillars undergo before they 
pass into the state of complete pupae, will establish more fully 
the value of this argument. 

There is, however, one order of chewing insects, the posi- 
tion of which is somewhat embarrassing ; I mean the Orthop- 
tera. If the views expressed above are correct, the very fact 
of their having chewing jaws will place them among the 
Mandibulata, below the Haustellata. But what is the pro- 
per position to assign to them among Mandibulata ? They 
cannot be placed higher than the Hymenoptera, for their 

106 Professor Agassiz on the 

jaws are completely masticatory. But their position in re- 
lation to Coleoptera and Neuroptera is difficult to determine. 
They undergo no change after they have been hatched from 
the egg, except that of assuming wings. They are born from 
the egg with an aerial respiratory system ; indeed, in a con- 
dition which is already higher than that of the larvae of Co- 
leoptera, and decidedly higher than that of the Neuroptera. 
We should, therefore, look to the changes which these ani- 
mals undergo within the egg, to determine their true posi- 
tion. But upon this point observations are still wanting. 
At present I am inclined to place them above Coleoptera, as 
we generally find that the degree of perfection which the 
young assumes before it is hatched, corresponds, to a re- 
markable extent, with the perfection of the animal in its 
general structure. And if it were not for the peculiar struc- 
ture of the jaws in Hymenoptera, I should not hesitate to 
place Orthoptera highest among Mandibulata. Again, the 
perfection of the wings of Hymenoptera leads so decidedly 
to a parallelism between them and some of the moths, that 
I cannot help thinking the best arrangement is the one men- 
tioned above ; namely, Neuroptera lowest, next Coleoptera, 
next Orthoptera, and Hymenoptera highest. The peculiar 
piercers, with which so many Orthoptera are provided to lay 
their eggs, remind us of similar apparatus in Hymenoptera, 
which would go to substantiate the position now assigned to 
these two orders of insects in close juxtaposition. 

Let us now consider the different orders belonging to the 
division of the Haustellata, which contains only three groups, 
the Hemiptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera. The order in 
which I have mentioned them above seems to me to be that 
in which they should naturally be placed, according to their 
structure and metamorphoses. If we can be guided by the 
changes which the highest of the animals undergo, it will be 
perceived that among Lepidoptera we have the true key for 
their natural arrangement. The larvae of this last group are 
hatched in a condition far superior to that of the larvae of any 
other insects. Not only are they all provided with aerial 
respiratory organs, but the different regions of their body 
are already more fully marked out than in the larva? of any 

Classification of Insects. 107 

other insects, by the different structure of their various legs, 
and by the decided distinction which is introduced between 
the head and body. Moreover, their skin is variously co- 
loured, and provided with a most astonishing diversity of 
external appendages. 

At first, these animals are voracious in their habits. Pro- 
vided with powerful jaws, they chew large quantities of food, 
mostly derived from the vegetable kingdom. But before they 
undergo their metamorphosis into pupse, before casting the 
last skin of the caterpillar, the young Lepidoptera begin to 
form their wings, which grow out of the second and third 
ring of the thorax in the shape of short, folded bags, very 
similar indeed to the first rudiments of wings in Neuroptera. 
These appendages rapidly enlarge, and when the caterpillar 
casts its skin, they have already attained a considerable size. 
But, instead of remaining free, they are soldered to the body 
of the pupa, the outer wings become hard, and form what 
have generally been called the wing-covers, resembling then 
very much the wings of Coleoptera. But the jaws have un- 
dergone greater changes. They are now transformed into 
long appendages, similar to the articulated threads which 
constitute the sucking apparatus of Hemiptera and some 
Diptera. The resemblance of the jaws of Lepidoptera at this 
period to those of Hemiptera is so great, that we may truly 
say, that the form of this apparatus in the pupa completely 
exemplifies the permanent structure of the sucking apparatus 
in Hemiptera; and the hardness of the wing-covers reminds us 
at the same time of the hardness of the base of the upper 
wings in the greater part of Hemiptera ; so that Hemiptera, 
in their perfect condition, would correspond to the earliest 
condition of the pupae of Lepidoptera. So the higher degree 
of locomotive power of these parts in Diptera would remind 
us of the condition of the jaws in the Lepidoptera, at the 
moment that the perfect butterfly leaves its pupa, when the 
pieces of the mouth move independently of each other, as 
is the case with the piercers of most Diptera, which remain 
free, while in Lepidoptera they finally form the articulated 
proboscis. This type of jaws of the Diptera, intermediate be- 
tween those of Hemiptera and the perfect Lepidoptera, would 

108 Professor Agassiz on the 

therefore assign to them also an intermediate position in the 

Again, the peculiar development of the wings, the anterior 
of which become perfect and membranous in Diptera, while 
the posterior ones remain rudimentary, shews plainly that, 
in the character of their wings, as well as in all other re- 
spects, Lepidoptera rank highest among Haustellata, and 
therefore highest among all insects. 

Whatever be now the value of these considerations, it must 
be obvious to all those familiar with the subject, that such a 
classification differs radically from the classifications founded 
upon metamorphosis simply. For here the system is founded, 
not merely upon the fact of the insects undergoing changes 
to various extent, but upon the nature of the changes them- 
selves. This is a generic classification, based upon embryo- 
logical changes, while the classification of the physico-philo- 
sophers rests simply upon the circumstance of the insects 
undergoing metamorphoses or not, without direct reference 
to the particular character of the successive changes. They 
bring together Hemiptera and Orthoptera, because both un- 
dergo hardly any changes after they have been hatched from 
the egg. But here it is shewn that the peculiarities which 
characterise Hemiptera correspond, to a certain degree, to 
the transformations which Lepidoptera undergo, and that 
Hemiptera therefore appear, upon embryological data, to 
belong to the same series, to which we must also refer Dip- 
tera and Lepidoptera, but from which Orthoptera are ex- 
cluded. Again, according to the views of the physico-philo- 
sophers, the Coleoptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, 
and Lepidoptera belong together, because they undergo ex- 
tensive changes in their metamorphoses. But I have already 
shewn that, however extensive these metamorphoses may be, 
they do not rise in any of these orders beyond the develop- 
ment which the Lepidoptera attain in their pupa condition ; 
as in the pupa of Lepidoptera the jaws are already trans- 
formed into a sucker-like proboscis, when wings and legs are 
developed ; while Coleoptera, Orthoptera, and Hymenoptera 
have arrived at their mature condition before the jaws have 
reached a higher development of structure than that which 

Classification of Insects. 109 

is exemplified in the metamorphoses of Lepidoptera before 
they fully pass into the condition of their pupa. So that, not- 
withstanding their extensive metamorphoses, the mandibulate 
insects must be placed altogether below the haustellate, even 
below the Hemiptera ; and thus the classification proposed 
at the outset seems fully justified by embryological evidence ; 
and, if I am not mistaken, we shall in future consider Man- 
dibulata as forming one great natural division among insects, 
to be placed below the Haustellata. 

This conclusion furnishes another illustration of the fal- 
lacy of our reasoning, when we allow ourselves to be guided 
simply by analogy derived from other classes. If among the 
higher animals we had not a natural series passing from man, 
through monkeys to the carnivorous animals, I doubt very 
much whether we should ever have been led to consider the 
muscular power and the strength of the jaws as indicating 
anywhere a higher degree of organisation. But this impres- 
sion, which is correct among Mammalia, can no longer ob- 
tain in other classes. We should, on the contrary, be better 
advised, by this evidence, and in future derive our views, as 
far as possible, solely from the classes to which they are to 
be applied. 

The same evidence which shews Lepidoptera to rank high- 
est among insects, shews also that insects as a class rank 
higher than Crustacea. And it will not be out of place to 
remember here the happy suggestion of Oken, who says, that 
" Lepidoptera are born as Worms, then pass into the condi- 
tion of Crustacea, and are finally developed into true insects, 
exemplifying the natural order of gradation of the three 
classes of Articulata." 

The detailed history of the metamorphoses of some Lepi- 
doptera will sustain more fully the views introduced in the 
preceding observations. 

(To be concluded in next Number.^) 


Humboldt, one of the first Philosopher* who delivered Popular 
( 'o'irses of Lectures on Science to the People. 

Humboldt commenced his lectures on Physical Cosmography 
on the 3d November 1827. The announcement sufficed to 
assemble all the intellect of Berlin and its vicinity to hear 
the celebrated naturalist. 

As he had before done in Paris, in the French language, 
Humboldt now, in his native tongue, gave the rich fruits of 
his researches in physical cosmography to the public, in a 
course of lectures delivered before a select but numerous 
assemblage. He enchanted his hearers by the peculiar force 
of his intellectual clearness, and by his eloquence, by the 
genuineness and warmth of his feelings, and by the inex- 
haustible novelty of his subject: he stood before them as a 
convincing inspiring teacher, who, like a talented creative 
artist, brought a series of wonderful natural pictures of a 
boldly explored world before an attentive public. This course 
of sixty-one lectures, commenced on the 3d November, and 
concluded on the 26th April 1828, was, as it were, the first 
sketch of the " Kosmos," published subsequently as the re- 
sult of his life and studies, given to the world in one work, 
whose contents may be compared to a mine rich in precious 
metals, and which such persons can best appreciate who 
already have a general knowledge of natural sciences. The 
first lectures which Alexander von Humboldt gave in the uni- 
versity (Berlin) building, and which no scholar living within a 
practicable distance missed, caused such a great sensation, not 
only in the town but in all parts of the country, that scholars 
and friends of science frequently came from long distances to 
be present at least at one of these lectures, of which they could 
read the reports and effects in nearly every newspaper, and 
to be able to say that they had seen Humboldt. When some 
of the first lectures had been delivered, the press of people 
from all ranks was so great that Humboldt was literally 
forced to give a repetition of the first course, adapted for a 
more general public, nearly contemporary with the others, 
in the large hall of the Musical Academy. And these popular 
lectures were eagerly visited by the highest and the most 

Humboldt' 8 Popular Lectures. Ill 

learned persons in the town. The King, the Royal Family, 
the Court, the highest Aristocracy, attended regularly and 
listened with the people, which shewed its pride in the 
celebrated man, by its enthusiastic admiration. Here Hum- 
boldt stood immediately before his fellow countrymen as an 
intellectual giant and inexhaustible spring of mental riches. 
Every one, even the lowest and most ignorant, heard his 
name ; he was something wonderful, mysterious, and remark- 
able, and they thronged to see the man who had discovered 
a new world. His brother, William, wrote to a friend in 
Vienna, who considered every intellectually uncommon de- 
velopment as something demoniacal : — " Alexander is really 
a ' puissance,' and has gained a new kind of glory by his 
lectures. They are unsurpassable ; he is always the same ; 
and it is still one of the principal features of his character to 
have a peculiar timidity and undeniable anxiety in the mode 
of his appearance." These lectures of Humboldt were also 
new and remarkable, in respect of the position he took to- 
wards the people. For, while other learned men, whose 
social position is always higher than that of the people, 
nearly all, in their scientific and academic pride, did not 
deem it worth their while to disseminate their knowledge 
among the people, whom it must ultimately most benefit ; — 
while they generally keep their learning as the property and 
mystery of a caste, and interchange it among themselves ; — 
while they consider it degrading for a man of science to 
popularise his knowledge ; — Alexander von Humboldt set 
them the noble example, that a baron, a chamberlain, a privy 
councillor, and confidential adviser of his king, did not con- 
sider it beneath his rank and dignity to appear publicly as 
the teacher of his favourite science. He shewed that a true 
man of science does not attach himself to an exclusive caste, 
and that all considerations of birth, rank, and title, are as 
nothing in the high service of science. And thus Humboldt, 
in the impulses of his heart and of his mind, fulfilled the 
noble duty which the mentally-gifted man owes to his people, 
of bestowing on them and instructing them with the rich 
treasury of his knowledge and experience, thereby raising 
them nearer to himself. — (Lives of the Humboldts.) 


Professor Oken, the originator of the now Popular Assemblies 
for the Advancement of Science. 

Humboldt's devotion to natural science, made the year 
1828 important far more than the preparations for his Asiatic 
journey. For the purposes of comparative researches, he 
caused the temperature to be measured in all the Prussian 
mines, and this led Humboldt's reflective and comparative 
mind to new results ; and besides this, he was occupied in 
the autumn of this year by the Seventh Annual Meeting of 
the German Naturalists and Natural Philosophers (an in- 
stitution originated with the celebrated Naturalist, Oken), 
which held its sittings in Berlin this time, and elected 
Humboldt and Lichtenstein, as presidents for the year. 
Here Humboldt's penetrating mind was again revealed, in 
his just conception and comprehension of science and its 
duties, which consist, partly in extending and popularising 
knowledge, partly in exciting to further inquiries, in gaining 
new disciples, and in making itself of practical utility in life, 
and of educational service for the people. These annual 
assemblies failed to fulfil their purpose, partly because the 
different branches of natural science were not properly sepa- 
rated from each other, and the constantly-increasing mate- 
rial could not be surveyed, and certainly not arranged in the 
few days that the Assembly lasted. Humboldt soon recog- 
nised this imperfect arrangement, and caused the institution 
of sections for the various special departments, in which 
every one had the privilege of an interchange of progress, 
and only the universal matter of general science was debated 
in the general meetings. Humboldt opened this seventh 
annual convention with a profound speech on the spirit and 
utility of such annual meetings, and his words had, as always, 
such a deep influence over the whole intellectual world, that 
soon afterwards, annual convocations were instituted on the 
model of Oken's society of natural historians, in England and 
Italy. — {Biography of the Humboldts.) 


The Earl of Rosse's Telescopes, and their Revelations in 
the Sidereal Heavens. By the Rev. Dr Scokesby, 
F.R.S.L. & E., Member of the Wernerian Society, and 
Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, &c 
Communicated by the Author. 

In a second lecture on these interesting subjects, recently 
delivered at Torquay, much and important consideration was 
given to the inquiry, — What has the gigantic telescope done \ 

The lecturer having himself had the privilege of observing 
on different visits, and for considerable periods, with both the 
instruments, was enabled to speak, he hoped, in a satisfactory 
manner to this inquiry. His opportunities of observing, he 
said, notwithstanding interruptions from clouds and dis- 
turbed atmosphere, had been somewhat numerous, and, not 
unfrequently, highly instructive and delightful. Of these ob- 
servations he had made records of nearly 60, on the moon, 
planets, double stars, clusters, and nebulae. He had been per- 
mitted also to have free access to, and examination of, all the 
observatory records and drawings, so that he was enabled on 
the best grounds, he believed, to say, that there has been no 
disappointment in the performance of the instruments ; and 
that the great instrument, in its peculiar qualities of supe- 
riority, possesses a marvellous power in collecting light and 
penetrating into regions of previously untouched space. In 
what may be called the domestic regions of our planet — the 
objects in the solar system — all that other instruments may 
reveal is within its grasp or more, though by the, prodigious 
flood of light from the brighter planets, the eye is dazzled 
unless a large portion is shut out. 

But in its application to the distant heavens and explora- 
tion of the nebulous systems there, its peculiar powers have, 
with a steady atmosphere, their highest developments and 
noblest triumphs. In this department — that to which the 
instrument has been particularly directed — every known ob- 
ject it touches, when the air is favourable, is, as a general 
fact, exhibited under some new aspect. It pierces into the 


114 The Earl of Rosse's Telescopes, and their 

indefinite or diffuse nebulous forms shewn by other instru- 
ments generally, and either exhibits configurations altogether 
unimagined, or resolves perhaps the nebulous patches of 
light into clusters of stars. Guided in the general researches 
by the works of the talented and laborious Herschels — to 
whom astronomy and science owe a deep debt of gratitude — 
time has been economised, and the interest of the results 
vastly enhanced. So that many objects in which the tine 
instruments of other observers could discern only some vague 
indefinite patch of light, have been brought out in striking, 
definite, and marvellous configurations. 

Among these peculiar revelations is that of the spiral fovm 
— the most striking and appreciable of all — which we may 
venture to designate " The Rossean Configuration.' 1 '' Its 
discovery was at once novel and splendid ; and in reference 
to the dynamical principles on which these vast aggregations 
of remote suns are whirled about within their respective 
systems and sustained against interferences, promises to be 
of the greatest importance. 

One of the most splendid nebula? of this class — the great 
spiral or whirlpool — has been figured in the Philosophical 
Transactions for 1850. It may be considered as the grand type 
and example of a class ; for near 40 more, with spiral charac- 
teristics, have been observed, and about 20 of them carefully 
figured. Dr Scoresby had the pleasure of being present at 
the discovery of this particular form in a nebula of the 
planetary denomination, in which two portions following 
spiral forms were detected. Its colour was peculiar, — pale 
blue. He had the privilege, too, of being present on another 
interesting occasion, where the examination of the great ne- 
bula in Orion was first seen to yield decisive tokens of reso- 

In these departments of research, the examination of the 
configurations of nebulae, and the resolution of nebulas into 
stars, the six-feet speculum has had its grandest triumphs, 
and the noble artificer and observer the highest rewards of 
his talents and enterprise. Altogether, the quantity of 
work done, during a period of about seven years, — including 
a winter when a noble philanthropy for a starving population 

Revelations in the Sidereal Heavens. 115 

absorbed the keenest interests of science, — has been decidedly 
great, and the new knowledge acquired, concerning the 
handiwork of the Great Creator, amply satisfying of even 
sanguine anticipations. 

Transferred to the ledger records from the journals of the 
Observatory (comprising only a selection from the general 
observations) about 700 catalogued nebulae, Dr S. found, Sep- 
tember last, had been already examined, and new nebula?, or 
nebulous knots, discovered merely incidentally, to the amount 
of 140 or more. The number of observations, involving sepa- 
rate sets of the instrument, recorded in the ledger (exclusive 
of very many hundreds, possibly thousands, on the moon and 
planets), amount to near 1700, involving several hundreds of 
determinations of position and angular measurements with 
the micrometer on the far distant stars. The carefully drawn 
configurations, eliciting new characteristics, exceed 90, and 
the rough or less-finished sketches amount to above 200. Of 
the 700 catalogued nebulae already examined, it should be 
observed, that in fully one-half, or more, something new has 
been elicited. 

In speaking of the effects of the flood of light accumulated 
by the six-feet speculum of the Earl of Rosse, Dr Scoresby 
remarked, that this peculiarity of the instrument (connected 
as it is with due length of focus and admirable definition) en- 
abled it to reach distances in space far beyond the powers of 
any other instrument. This was its peculiar province ; and 
in this, as to existing instruments, there was not, nor, as he 
hoped to shew, could there be, any competition. For com- 
paring the space-penetrating power of the six-feet speculum 
with one of two feet (which has rarely been exceeded) we 
find it three to one in favour of the largest, with an accumu- 
tion of light in the ratio of 6 2 to 2 2 , or 9 to 1. On comparing 
the powers of this magnificent instrument with those of a 
refractor of two feet aperture, the largest hitherto attempted, 
we have a superiority — making a due allowance for the loss 
of light by reflection from two mirrors, and assuming an 
equal degree of perfectness, figure, and other optical re- 
quirements in the refractor, and no allowance for absorp- 
tion of light— in the ratio of about 4-5 to 1, as to light, 

H 2 

116 The Earl of Rosse's Telescopes, and their 

and as 2-12 to 1, as to the capability of penetrating 
space, or detecting nebulous or sidereal objects at the ex- 
treme distance of visibility. Hence, whilst the range of 
telescopic vision in a refractor of two feet aperture would 
embrace a sphere in space represented by a diameter of 2 ; 
the six-feet speculum (assuming both instruments to be of 
equal optical perfection, magnifying equally, and allowing 
fifty per cent, for loss of light for two reflections in the 
one case, and none (?) in the other) would comprehend a 
sphere of about 4*24 diameter, — the outer shell of which, 
1*12 in thickness, being the province, of the great instrument 
alone. But let us reduce these proportions to sections of 
equal spaces, that we may judge more accurately of the rela- 
tive powers. Now, the solid contents of different spheres, 
we know, are in the ratio of the cubes of their diameters. 
Hence the comparative spheres, penetrated by the two in- 
struments referred to, should be as 4*24 3 to 2 3 ; that is, as 
9*5 to 1. Deducting, then, from this vast grasp of space the 
inner sphere, capable of being explored by other instruments, 
we find that, out of nearly ten sections of space reached by 
this telescope, there are nearly nine sections which the six- 
feet speculum may embrace as peculiarly its own ! 

What its revelations yet may prove, then, we can have no 
idea. Several thousands of nebulae have been catalogued : 
the great reflector might add to these tens of thousands more. 
But this, seeing how few nights in a year are favourable for 
the highest powers, must be the work of years of perseve- 
rance. It would be a worthy undertaking for the Government 
of a great country, to afford the means of multiplying such 
gigantic instruments. Application is to be made, in this di- 
rection, for a six-feet reflector at the Cape of Good Hope, 
for the examination of the heavens towards the southern pole. 
Lord Rosse, with his usual nobleness of liberality, will yield 
up his laboratory, machinery, and men, to the service of Go- 
vernment, and is willing, moreover, to give the direction and 
guidance of his master-mind. Will the British nation be con- 
tent with a refusal \ 

The range opened out to us by the great telescope at Birr 
Casllc. is best, perhaps, apprehended by the now usual mea- 

Revelations in the Sidereal Heavens. 117 

surement — not of distances in miles, or millions of miles, or 
diameters of the earth's orbit, but — of the progress of light 
in free space. The determination, within, no doubt, a small 
proportion of error, of the parallax of a considerable num- 
ber of the fixed stars, yields, according to M. Peters, a space 
betwixt us and the fixed stars of the smallest magnitude, the 
sixth, ordinarily visible to the naked eye, of 130 years in the 
flight of light. This information enables us, on the principles 
of sounding the heavens, suggested by Sir- W. Herschel, 
with the photometrical researches on the stars of Dr Wol- 
laston and others, to carry the estimation of distances, and 
that by no means on vague assumption, to the limits of space 
opened out by the most effective telescopes. And from the 
guidance thus afforded us, as to the comparative power of 
the six-feet speculum in the penetration of space, as already 
elucidated, we might fairly assume the fact, that if any other 
telescope now in use could follow the sun if removed to the 
remotest visible position, or till its light would require 10,000 
years to reach us, the grand instrument at Parsonstown 
would follow it so far, that from 20,000 to 25,000 years would 
be spent in the transmission of its light to the earth. But in 
the case of clusters of stars, and of nebulae exhibiting a mere 
speck of misty luminosity, from the combined light perhaps 
of hundreds of thousands of suns, the penetration into space, 
compared with the results of ordinary vision, must be enor- 
mous ; so that it would not be difficult to shew the pro- 
bability that a million of years, in flight of light, would be 
requisite, in regard to the most distant, to trace the enormous 

But after all, what is all this, vast as the attainment may 
seem, in the exploration of the extent of the works of the 
Almighty ? For in this attempt to look into space, as the 
great reflector enables us, we see but a mere speck — for 
space is Infinite. Could we take, therefore, not the tardy 
wings of the morning, with the speed of the mere spread of 
day, nor flee as with the leaden wings of light, which would 
require years to reach the nearest star, but, like unhampered 
thought, could we speed to the farthest visible nebula at a 
bound, — there, doubtless, we should have a continuance of 

118 Mr Ellet on the Proper Application of 

revelations; and if bound after bound were taken, and new 
spheres of space for ten thousand repetitions explored, — 
should we not probably find each additional sphere of tele- 
scopic vision garnished with suns and nebulous configurations 
rich and marvellous as our own ? If these views serve to 
enlarge our conception of creative wonders, and of the glory 
and power of the Great Architect of the heavens, should 
they not deeply impress us in respect to the Divine conde- 
scension in regarding so graciously this little, inferior world 
of ours ! Animated with the spirit of the Psalmist, we shall 
each one, surely, be disposed appropriately to join in his 
emphatic saying, — " When I consider thy heavens, the work 
of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast or- 
dained ; what is man, that thou art mindful of him ? or the 
son of man, that thou visitest him ? V 

Of the Proper Application of Reservoirs to the Improvement 
of Rivers. By Charles Ellet Jun., Civil Engineer, 
United States of America. 

It is not intended to recommend the mode of collecting 
the superfluous water into reservoirs for their improvement 
to all streams. It is only those rivers, or parts of rivers, on 
which the imperfections of the channel are caused essentially 
by a deficiency of water in seasons of drought, and not by the 
rapidity of their fall, or obstructions in their beds, that are 
susceptible of this mode of improvement. Rivers which, 
like the Ohio, Alleghany, Cumberland, and Tennessee, are 
always navigable when there is sufficient water in their 
channels to float the boats freely, but of which the naviga- 
tion fails because the supply of water fails, and on which 
lakes may be formed at small expense, without injury to 
valuable property or to the salubrity of the country, — such 
rivers as these can be best, most cheaply, permanently, and 
effectually improved, by collecting a portion of the waters 
which are wasted in producing floods, and holding them in 
store for the season when the sources of supply fail to render 
their customary tribute to the channel. 

Reservoirs to the Improvement of Rivers. 119 

Such are essentially the characteristics of all the great 
rivers of the Mississippi valley. 

Many of these streams rise in the mountain ridges, and 
flow great distances through depressions parallel with the 
range in which they originate. Those which descend from 
the Alleghany break through the subordinate ranges of 
Laurel Hill, Greenbriar, Big Sewell, and other parallel and 
analogous formations, where many gorges are presented, 
easy to dam up, and where the lakes to be formed will lie 
inclosed within a rim of rock, which will insure a purity equal 
to that of the waters of Erie or Ontario. Tens, and per- 
haps hundreds, of such sites exist in the valleys of the Alle- 
ghany, Monongahela, Great Kanawha, and their tributaries ; 
and, indeed, along all the rivers that flow from the mountains 
on either slope of the great dividing ridge. 

It is not to be maintained that the water will become less 
salubrious because it is confined. The lakes which it is pro- 
posed to form are in all respects analogous to the great 
fresh-water lakes of the globe, which are provided with out- 
lets to the Ocean, through which the water is slowly dis- 
charged, but, nevertheless, so adjusted as to retain the same 
water for a long series of years. 

The salubrity of the fluid is not impaired by this exposure. 
The Falls of Niagara probably do not vent the volume of water 
which is contained in Lake Erie more than once in six or eight 
years ; and it is certain that the contents of all the upper 
lakes would not pass over the cataract in half a century. 

Nature relies for effecting the change which is for ever 
taking place in great bodies of fresh water, almost exclu- 
sively on the process of evaporation ; and has provided that 
the fluid shall be thoroughly exposed to sun, and light, and 
air, by the agitation of its surface when in volume, and by its 
suspension in the clouds after its evaporation. 

The healthfulness of the country cannot be impaired by 
the formation of artificial reservoirs in all respects analo- 
gous to those of nature, liable to be drained off, to some ex- 
tent, more than once in every year. They need not cover 
vegetable matter in sufficient quantity to cause apprehension 
from the effect of its decomposition. These reservoirs are 

120 Mr Ellet on the Proper Application of 

not intended to be wholly exhausted ; and need only to be 
reduced at the surface, so as to lay bare a portion of their 
rocky borders. 

But the salubrity of rivers, when no longer subject to be- 
come dry, and have their sands and vegetable deposits ex- 
posed to the summer's sun, must necessarily be increased ; 
for the same experience which teaches that large masses of 
fresh water, existing as lakes, are salubrious, also teaches 
that shallow, stagnant pools, such as are found in the place 
of an exhausted river, are deleterious to health. 

It is difficult to imagine a serious objection to the im- 
provement of this great natural system of inland navigation, 
by a method which accomplishes so much for an outlay so 
small — by a plan which places no incidental impediment in 
the way of trade, and the application of which is limited to 
no State or section of the Union. 

From the base of the Rocky Mountains to the base of the 
Alleghany, there is not a great river or navigable tributary 
that may not be benefited by this process ; while on the 
eastern slope of the dividing range there are numerous rivers 
flowing into the Atlantic, which have been improved by other 
means, and which must ultimately be subjected to this treat- 
ment, and relieved of the dams by which they are now ob- 

The North Branch of the Susquehanna may be easily 
made navigable, from its mouth into the State of New York, 
for a convenient class of steamboats, by this simple expe- 
dient ; and there are several rivers in Virginia, which, for 
an insignificant cost, may probably be supplied with abun- 
dant water for a permanent navigation. 

The personal observation of the writer does not extend to 
the great rivers of the Southern States. But the elevations 
of their surfaces above tide, from point to point, seem to in- 
dicate that they are even more susceptible of the application 
of this method of improvement than those farther north; 
while the Cumberland and Tennessee, and the rivers of 
Kentucky, possess all the essential characteristics of the Ohio, 
and will always afford a good navigation for steamboats, 
whenever they are adequately supplied with water. 

Reservoirs to the Improvement of Rivers. 121 

Further west, the field of valuable improvement is im- 
mense. Probably 2000 miles of precarious navigation on 
the Missouri alone, may be rendered permanent and safe by 
a few dams constructed upon the great tributaries above the 
mouth of the Yellow Stone ; and, as civilisation is carried 
by steam into those distant regions, it is reasonable to sup- 
pose that the same incidental advantages to society will be 
experienced there, which, it can be shewn, are certain to fol- 
low the application of this system on the Ohio. 

It is not asserting more than the measurements presented 
in this paper will justify, when it is maintained that it is en- 
tirely in the power of man to control all the waters of the 
Mississippi and the Missouri, and compel every river to flow 
with an even current from its source in the Alleghany or 
Rocky Mountains, to its home in the ocean, for ever free from 
the hurtful effects of floods and droughts. 

The writer can scarcely hope immediately to remove the 
suspicion and distrust with which the first announcement 
of his plan was met by the public ; but yet he believes that 
the period is past when prejudice or doubt can long resist 
the force of demonstration. When, in a former age, it was 
proposed in Spain to unite two rivers by a navigable canal, 
a commission of the Inquisition decided against the project, 
on the broad ground that, if it had been the will of God that 
those rivers should be united, they would have been joined 
in their creation. The decision was in conformity with the 
spirit of the age and the people, and was doubtless dictated 
by honest views of piety and right. 

But times have changed, and men are learning to look 
upon this earth and all it contains as a gift from God to the 
beings of his creation, to be used, explored, studied, and im- 

The waters are not the least of these bounteous gifts. But 
it does not follow, because they are supplied in abundance, 
they were intended for ever to be wasted. It is more in 
unison with what is known of the original design, to conclude 
that the apparent excess was intended for many useful pur- 
poses ; to be collected for the benefit of the parched earth ; 
for the power that it affords ; for the transportation of the 

122 Notices of various Animal Remains 

products which it serves to increase and prepare ; and not 
for ever to burst, periodically, in a wave of destruction upon 
man and his works. — (Smithsonian Contributions to Know- 
ledge, vol. ii.) 

Notices of various Animal Remains, as Bos longifrons, &c, 
found with Roman Pottery, near Newstead, Roxburgh- 
shire : with Notes in reference to the Origin of our Domes- 
tic Cattle, and the Wild White Cattle of this Country. 
By John Alexander Smith, M.D. Communicated by 
the Author.* 

In the winter of 1846-7, during the excavation of a cutting 
on the Hawick branch of the North British Railway, in the 
neighbourhood of Melrose, and a little to the east of the vil- 
lage of Newstead, a number of shafts or well-like pits were 
come upon. There were about five or six of these of a large 
size, two of which were built round the sides with stones, 
and were about 20 feet deep, and about 2 feet 6 inches in 
diameter ; the others, being simply dug out of the ground, 
were about 4 feet in diameter, and varying from 15 to 18 feet 
in depth. These pits were all found in a space of about 30 
yards square, and among them were discovered some 15 or 
16 small pits, about 3 vfeet deep and 3 feet in diameter, 
which were lined throughout with a layer of whitish clay, 
some 5 or 6 inches thick. All these pits were filled with a 
black peaty-like stuff, apparently damp ashes and earth, and 
in them were observed numerous pieces of Roman pottery, 
consisting principally of the dark-coloured or smother-kiln 
ware, coarser varieties of the gray, and yellowish, and also 
some portions of the fine red or Samian ware, both plain 
and embossed. Many of these, I have been informed, might 
have been preserved entire, or the broken fragments col- 
lected together, which, I regret to say, were carelessly 
thrown with the earth and rubbish to form the adjoining 
mound. I have been able to collect a few specimens of the 

# Read before the Royal Physical Society, Edinburgh, April 2, 1851. 

L r JewPML Jonni 

/ JohsuJ.lexrSm±th,l£.D- J 


found near Newstead, Roocburghsliire. 123 

different kinds of ware (some of which I exhibit), and have 
presented them to the museum of the Scottish Antiquaries. 
Several silver and brass coins, of the Emperors Vespasian, 
Trajan, and Hadrian, were also found, and the bones of vari- 
ous animals. 

I shall not enter here into the more strictly antiquarian 
details of the subject (which I have already, sometime ago, 
fully described in another place — Soc. Ant. of Scot., May 
1850), farther than to say, that the popular idea of these pits 
having been wells, seems rather absurd, if we consider the 
number of them clustered together, as well as their near 
neighbourhood to the River Tweed. English archaeologists 
call pits of this kind rubbish-holes, or dirt-pits, — the name 
sufficiently pointing out their supposed use ; but it certainly 
seems to me very strange, that the Romans should have 
taken so much apparently unnecessary trouble for such a 
purpose, as the land would surely not be so very valuable in 
those ancient days, and the River Tweed runs at no great dis- 
tance from them on the north, which would seem to afford 
a simple means for carrying off anything of the kind. I am 
inclined to the opinion, from considering all the circumstances 
of the case, that these had been the burying-places of the 
ancient Roman town, which I believe to have existed in the 
immediate neighbourhood, and that in these pits were depo- 
sited the inurned ashes gathered from the extinguished fu- 
neral piles of the dead ; the remains of sacrificed animals 
being then apparently laid over them as their most appro- 
priate covering. However this may be, pits of a correspond- 
ing kind have been discovered in various places in England ; 
but, as far as I am aware, this is only the second time any- 
thing at all resembling them has been noticed, or described, 
as occurring in Scotland. A little to the east of these pits 
a bed or stratum, of considerable size, and consisting appa- 
rently of burnt earth, mixed with wood charcoal, was observ- 
ed, and a little farther to the east, another of smaller size 
was also come upon ; and in both of these, various pieces of 
pottery, and the bones and teeth of animals, were discovered. 
I regret my not being able to give a full and satisfactory 
account of the various animal remains which these beds and 

124 Notices of various Animal Remain* 

pits contained, as most of them were carelessly dug out by 
the rough hands of the " navies," and added with the earth 
to form an adjoining mound. Those I have been able to 
collect and examine are the following : — In the first place, 
however, I must notice the discovery of a human skeleton in 
a pit, about three feet in diameter, and ten feet in depth, 
a little to the south-west of the large built pits. It was 
found standing erect, with a spear beside it ; the head of 
the spear was of iron, 14 inches long, and l£ inch broad 
at its widest part, and traces of the handle still remained, 
the rotten wood falling out on the spear being touched. 
The skull alone was preserved, and through the kindness 
of my friend Dr Brown, Melrose, is now in my posses- 
sion (since presented to the Museum of the Scottish Anti- 
quaries). It is well formed, of moderate size, of the Cauca- 
sian type, with strongly-marked muscular impressions, and 
the teeth generally sound, and little worn, being evidently 
the skull of an adult male in the prime of life. An examina- 
tion of it was carefully made by Dr D. Wilson and myself, 
for his interesting paper " On the Crania of the Tumuli,'' 
(read to Brit. Assoc, here), and the following are the details 
of its various dimensions, according to the terms used by Dr 
Morton in the " Crania Americana :" — Longitudinal diameter, 
7 in. 3 lin. ; parietal diameter, 5 in. 4 lin. ; frontal diameter, 
4 in. 6 lin. ; vertical diameter, 5 in. 4 lin. ; intermastoid arch, 
14 in. 1\ lin. ; intermastoid arch, from upper root of zygomatic 
process, 12 in. ; intermastoid line, 5 in. 3|- lin. ; do. from upper 
root of zygomatic process, 5 in. 6 lin. ; occipito-frontal arch, 
14 in. 4 lin. ; do., from occipital protuberance to root of nasal 
bones, 12 in. 9 lin. ; horizontal periphery, 20 in. 6 iin. ; rela- 
tive capacity (which is here assumed by adding together the 
longitudinal and vertical diameters, and the horizontal peri- 
phery), 33 in. 1 lin. 

If this skeleton, from the place where it was found, be 
considered that of a Roman citizen, it must, in my opinion, 
have belonged to the later period of their occupation of this 
district ; as it was not until then that the practice of burning 
the dead began to be given up, and the simpler rite of inhu- 
mation reintroduced. Or, it is not improbable it may belong 

found near New stead, Roxburghshire. 125 

to a much later period ; but on this difficult subject it is no 
easy matter to decide. 

Of the various remains of the lower animals which were 
collected, the first I shall notice has been well called " the 
noble associate of man," — I refer to the Horse, Equus Cabal- 
lus, Linn., to which I consider this back part of a mutilated 
skull to have belonged, and which seems to have been an in- 
dividual of rather a small size. The next is the Common 
Hog, Sus scrofa, Linn., of which a lower jaw was preserved. 
It is easily distinguished by its peculiar form, the posterior 
grinders being oblong, with tuberculated crowns, and the in- 
cisors sloping forwards. The third animal which I have to 
notice, is represented merely by a portion of a round antler, 
apparently of the Common Stag or Red Deer, Cervus ela- 
phus, Linn. It seems to be a part of the first or brow antler ; 
and I was informed, that tolerably perfect antlers, said to 
be those of the red deer, had also been found ; but these I 
was unable to get for examination. 

The other remains consisted of skulls, and apparently other 
bones of short-horned oxen, which I shall attempt more parti- 
cularly to describe. I need hardly allude to the well known fact, 
of the previous existence in Britain of two species of enormous 
wild oxen ; the one the shaggy Bison, the other the large 
horned and mighty Urus (Bos primigenius, Bojan.) ; an animal, 
according to Caesar, almost equalling the elephant in bulk; but, 
in addition to these, there were also short-horned cattle of a 
very inferior size, which have been proved to have existed in 
Britain from the period of the newer pliocene formation, their 
remains being found in drifts and fresh-water deposits, along 
with those of the mammoth and the rhinoceros, and in the 
caves of the same period, the prey, it may have been, of 
tigers, bears, and hyaenas ; as well as through the depo- 
sits of the alluvium ; down to their existence in the bogs, 
and among the traces of men in the latest of all the 
formations ; being spared apparently, for man's sake, while 
their dread contemporaries of earlier times had passed from 
the face of the earth. After this, however, they also seem 
to disappear as a distinct species ; still existing, it may 
be, in some of the many varieties of our present domes- 

12(> Notices of various Animal Remains 

ticated ox. This small short-horned ox, Professor Owen has 
designated the Bos longifrons. " It belongs," the learned 
Professor says in his excellent work on ' British Fossil Mam- 
mals,' " like our present cattle, to the sub-genus Bos, as is 
shewn by the form of the forehead, and by the origin of the 
horns from the extremities of the occipital ridge ; but it 
differs from the contemporary Bos primigenius, not only by 
its great inferiority of size, being smaller than the ordinary 
breeds of domestic cattle, but also by the horns being pro- 
portionally much smaller and shorter, as well as differently 
directed, and by the forehead being less concave. The horn 
cores of the Bos longifrons describe a single short curve out- 
wards and forwards in the plane of the forehead, rarely ris- 
ing above that plane, more rarely sinking below it ; the cores 
have a very rugged exterior, and are usually flat at their 
upper part." Vide Owen's Brit. Fos. Mammal. With regard 
to the horn cores, Professor Owen seems to allow some little 
latitude, both as to their size and curvature. In alluding, 
p. 501, to the Urus being distinguished from the Bos tanrus 
by its great size, and the direction of the horns, he quotes 
from Cuvier the following remark : " The naturalist well 
knows that such characters are neither constant nor proper 
for the distinction of species ;" and, accordingly, he admits 
that the Urus was subject to some variety in these respects ; 
and, in the passage just quoted, he also appears to allow a 
certain amount of range in the curvature of the horn cores 
of the Bos longifrons ; for he says, as already mentioned, 
they " rarely rise above the plane of the forehead, and more 
rarely fall below it. 1 ' The four skulls in my possession 
(which I now exhibit), seem to correspond very considerably 
with these general characters of the Bos longifrons, if we 
consider an allowance made for the slightly upward bend of 
the horn cores of one at least of them, while they agree with 
the forward curvature, and scarcely rise above the plane of 
the forehead. Indeed, two of them (Nos. III. and TV.), seem 
very closely to resemble the description given by Professor 
Owen, and the horns of No. IV. especially correspond ; the 
other two, Nos. I. and II. (vide Plate), although perhaps 
slightly different, and of rather a larger size, still agree con- 

found near New steady Roxburghshire. 127 

siderably in most particulars; the largest of these No. 1, 
being probably a bull, as well from its larger size, and 
more strongly-marked horn cores, as from the proportionally 
broader and squarer forehead, which is believed to be cha- 
racteristic of the male ; and the others being in all probability 
cows. I would be inclined to account for their slight differ- 
ences upon the supposition of these skulls being the remains 
of cattle which had become domesticated at that early period 
in our country's history, when the Eoman soldier was a 
dweller in the south of Scotland ; and should they be con- 
sidered as not absolutely identical with the Bos longifrons, 
they seem apparently so closely allied, as to afford a strong 
reason for believing it to be, at all events, the native source 
from which they had been derived. I have made out a table 
of their different dimensions, as compared with those given 
by Professor Owen, and it will be seen how very closely they 
correspond (vide Table). One of the skulls, No. IV., seems to 
have been sawn through the middle, and, from the appearance 
of some of the others, you might fancy the animals had been 
killed by the heavy blow of an axe, or some such instrument, 
striking them obliquely immediately behind the horns. On 
examining these skulls, I have been struck by what appears 
to me to be the large relative size of their prominent orbits, 
as contrasted with those of the Bos primigenius, and even of 
our domestic cattle. In the B. primigenius, indeed, the orbit 
seems to be small in relation to the immense bulk of the 
skull. And I may also notice the peculiar prominence in the 
middle of their supra-occipital ridge, especially in the skulls 
Nos. III. and IV. Since writing these notes, I have read a 
very interesting paper by Professor Nilsson of Lund, in the 
Annals and Magazine of Natural History, vol. ii. of Second 
Series, " On the Extinct and Existing Bovine Animals of 
Scandinavia," in which he gives a detailed account of the 
characters of the Bos longifrons of Professor Owen, or Dwarf 
Ox, a few of which I may enumerate here. He says : " As 
far as we yet know, it is the smallest of the ox tribe that had 
lived wild in our portion of the globe ; the whole length, 
from the muzzle to the end of the rump bone, he supposes to 
have been about 6 ft. 8 inches, and, from the slender make 

12$ Notices of various Animal Remain* 

of its bones, it had rather resembled a deer than an ox. 
The forehead upwards over the eyes is flattened, with an edge 
going along the frontal seam, which is most prominent up- 
wards, and ends with a rounded indenting backwards. Be- 
tween the eyes, is a more or less considerable depression, 
above which there is often a rising, and beneath which lies 
the incision for the nasal bones, which go right up to the 
line drawn between the lower borders of the orbits. (Thus 
the frontal bones are not longer in this species than they are 
in the Urus or Taurus.) The horn cores are small, cylin- 
drical, short, curved only in one direction forwards ; some- 
times, though seldom, downwards, in the plane of the fore- 
head. The form of the temporal cavity is, behind, transverse- 
obtuse ; before, oblique-pointed ; its hinder part (to the angle 
above the joint of the under jaw), only one-fourth part 
broader than the forepart The anterior palatine apertures 
lancet-shaped, at the back oblique inward-pointed ; the back 
ones lie between the palate bones ; the nape transverse, up- 
wards with a vertical indenting ; downwards with a vertical 
edge over the circular foramen of the nape. The skull of 
this species varies considerably in size, and even something 
in form, according to its age and sex. The species, how- 
ever, is always known by a protuberance upon the upper 
part of the forehead in front, and an indenting backwards." 
(The italics I may observe, are not in the original.) He 
gives a table, also, of the usual dimensions of young speci- 
mens, which I have added to mine, to shew their general 

These four skulls then, (before you,) which were found 
near the village of Newstead, Roxburghshire, seem to me to 
agree so very closely with all these distinctive characters, as 
to prove them to have been very nearly allied indeed, if not 
absolutely identical with, the B. longifrons ; and should you 
agree with me in this opinion, then I may say, I consider 
these as of course proving their existence in the south of 
Scotland at the time of the Roman occupation of the country, 
of which, as far as I am aware, these skulls are the only 

The examination of the skulls of cattle, which had un- 

found near New stead, Roxburghshire. 129 

doubtedly existed in our country at a very remote period, 
naturally suggests some queries as to the Origin of our 
ordinary Domestic Cattle, which is a question of consider- 
able interest as well as difficulty, but into which I do not 
intend to enter farther than to bring forward a few gleanings 
and remarks bearing upon this interesting subject. Profes- 
sor Nilsson, in the valuable paper already alluded to, after 
describing what he considers to have been an additional 
species of extinct and fossil ox, which, according to him, 
had existed in this country as well as in Sweden, which he 
calls the Bos frontosus, and to which, in passing, I must 
allude. It is distinguished, he says, by the ridge of the occi- 
put rising high in the centre, convex ; the horns, which rest 
on longer pedicles than among any known species of ox, are 
short, and directed outwards and backwards, and then bend 
forwards. The size of the skulls denote an animal which, 
although much less than the B. primigenius, is yet consider- 
ably larger than the B. longifrons. It belongs, he says, to 
the country's oldest post-pliocene period. And with regard 
to the question of the origin of our present cattle, the Pro- 
fessor considers that a race of our domestic cattle have 
probably been derived from each of the three species he de- 
scribes of the sub-genus Bos with the flat forehead ; the B. 
primigenius, B. frontosus, and B. longifrons ; none of them, 
according to the general opinion of naturalists, being derived 
from the Bison or Aurochs, which is quite different in its 
characters, and never pairs with the domestic cow. Other 
naturalists, however, consider the Bos primigenius as the 
origin from which our domestic cattle are derived. I entirely 
concur with the opinion of Professor Owen, in considering it 
highly improbable, in fact almost impossible, that the enor- 
mous and savage Uri, of which Csesar says, "great is their 
strength and great their speed, and they spare neither man 
nor beast which they catch sight of ; and that the man who 
killed the greatest number of them, even by the pitfali, 
brings the horns as an evidence of his prowess, and is highly 
applauded by his countrymen ; and so savage is their nature, 
that, though taken never so young, they cannot be tamed," — 
(lib. vi., 27, 28.) To suppose beasts like these, not only tamed, 


130 Notices of various Animal Remains 

in opposition to such decided evidence to the contrary, but 
also so strangely degenerated into the comparatively small- 
sized and placid ox of the present day, seems to me really 
past belief. 

And with regard to the opinion, that the domesticated 
British cattle were originally derived from those of the 
Roman colonists, we must recollect that we have evidence 
which proves the existence of numerous herds of domesti- 
cated cattle in Britain before ever Caesar's troops set foot in 
the country. This Professor Owen seems rather to overlook, 
when he says, (p. 500, Brit. Fos. Mam.,) that in all probabi- 
lity the " herds of newly conquered regions would be derived 
from the already domesticated cattle of the Roman colonist." 
No doubt to a certain extent this might afterwards be the 
case ; but Caesar himself tells us, in his Commentaries, at the 
very commencement of his operations in England, that " the 
country was well peopled, and that they possessed ' pecoris 
magnus numerus,' " — (lib. v. 12) — numerous herds of cattle ; 
for " pecus" is frequently used when domesticated cattle are 
spoken of, although certainly its more correct signification 
refers to sheep ; and that in this instance it refers to cattle, 
we think is rendered the more likely, by his going on to tell 
us that the natives of the interior of the country seldom 
troubled themselves with the tillage of the ground, but lived 
on milk and flesh meat, and clothed themselves with the 
skins — (lib. v., 12, 14) ; — all of which facts are proofs of the 
reference being at least to domesticated herds ; and also, as 
has been well remarked, that the proverbial fondness of the 
natives of the southern parts of our island, at the present 
day, for the " roast beef of Old England," is a taste of no 
recent origin. It should also be remembered, that it must 
have taken no little time before the country could be filled 
with " numerous herds of cattle,'' especially if we consider 
the difficulty of transit from one country to another, in the 
still earlier and ruder times ; and I may remind you of the 
fact, of which Coesar also informs us, that the Germans were, 
like the British, in possession of numerous herds of cattle 
before the Romans invaded them ; not being tillers of the 
ground, but resembling the British in their " milk, cheese, 

found near Newstead, Roxburghshire. 131 

and flesh" diet, — derived of course from their domesticated 
cattle. Considerations such as these would make me rather 
agree with Professor Owen's other remarks, when, treating 
of the Bos longifrons, he says, " that if it still be contended 
that the natives of Britain, or any part of them, obtained 
their cattle by taming a primitive breed, this small-sized, origi- 
nal variety of ox, is most likely to have furnished the source." 
Now, I am inclined to think that the several instances where 
bones of this animal have been found along with the ancient 
works of man, as mentioned by Professor Owen, as well as 
in the present case, are, in all probability, proofs of the early 
domesticated state of an ox identical with the B. longifrons ; 
which, as already mentioned, had existed in this country 
from the times of the newer pliocene period. 

And in support of the opinion of the Bos longifrons being 
the true origin of our domesticated cattle, or at least as shew- 
ing its more general resemblance to them, I may extract one 
or two statements from the paper of Professor Nilsson already 
referred to ; for example, when describing the Bos frontosus, 
he says, " It seems to have been about the size of our common 
cow, from which, however, in form it totally differs." And in 
the Bos longifrons, as already noticed, " the form of the tem- 
poral cavity is behind transverse-obtuse, before oblique- 
pointed ; its hinder part (to the angle above the joint of the 
under jaws) only one-fourth broader than the fore part. 
Herein it resembles the tame ox, but differs visibly from the 
B. frontosus, in which the back part is twice as broad as 
the forepart, and also from the Urus." And he also states 
that in the Urus the nasal bones are five times as long as 
broad ; in the B. longifrons they are nearly six ; while in the 
domestic ox they are six-and-a-half times as long as broad. 

It is curious to notice the fact, that the wilder districts of 
Britain, as the extremity of Devon and Cornwall for ex- 
ample, and the mountainous districts of Wales, as well as 
our own rugged land, seem all, according to Mr Youatt, 
to have been originally stocked with cattle having even yet 
as it were a general family likeness, with moderate sized 
horns, and of no great general bulk ; being the very localities, 
as Professor Owen well remarks, where the natives would 


132 Notices of various Animal Remains 

drive their domestic cattle before the advance of an invader, 
and where of course traces of the original breeds are most 
likely to be found. Full allowance must, however, at the 
same time, be made for the wonderful changes produced on 
cattle by variety of situation, and climate, by pastures, and 
attention on the part of their possessors to their breeding, 
so as to favour, from what originally might be an accidental 
peculiarity, the preservation and gradual spreading over the 
herd of some fancied excellence, or beauty, or fashion of the 
time. The Galloway cattle may perhaps be cited as an in- 
stance of the changes produced in this way ; they are now 
known as a breed of polled or hornless cattle ; whereas, it is 
said, that so late as the middle of the last century, the greater 
part of them had horns of a rather small or medium size. 

The Ancient White Cattle, still existing in some gentle- 
men's parks, may also, it seems to me, be considered as an 
instance of a beautiful and much-esteemed variety of our do- 
mesticated cattle, being artificially preserved ; and, as these 
are believed by many to be the last remains of our native 
wild cattle, I may perhaps be excused entering a little into 
detail on this curious subject. We find, among these various 
herds of park-kept, so-called Wild White Cattle, at present 
or lately in existence in the country, a considerable diversity 
in their general appearance ; some with red ears, others with 
black, and this latter peculiarity occurring occasionally even 
among those of the red-eared variety, as mentioned by Bewick 
of the Chilli ngham cattle ; and some having horns, while 
others have none, as the breed of wild white cattle at Gis- 
burne, in Craven, Yorkshire (Vide Bewick's Quadrupeds) ; 
and, besides other little peculiarities, we have also the occur- 
rence from time to time among these breeds, of cattle more 
or less marked with brown or black spots, but these indivi- 
duals are always killed, to prevent this variety spreading 
among the herd : — " And when the calves have been taken 
young, they have been completely tamed, and become like 
the common domestic ox, feeding as rapidly in confinement 
as a short-horned steer." — (Vide Paper " On the Wild White 
Cattle of Chillingham," by William Hindmarsh, Esq., in the 
Annals of Nat. Hist, for 1839, vol. ii.) All these peculiari- 

found near Newstead, Roxburghshire. 133 

ties seem to me to favour the idea of these cattle being merely 
a fancy breed of ancient domesticated cattle, preserved for 
their beauty in the parks of the nobility. 

It is well known that the colour of many animals is changed 
by domestication, and that they frequently become more or 
less entirely white ; and it is interesting, as shewing appa- 
rently where some of the last traces of the original colour 
of an animal, which has been changed in this way, may be 
expected still to remain ; to notice the remark of Professor 
Bell of London, in his valuable work on " British Quadru- 
peds," that " It appears the ears are more liable to retain 
colour in animals which become white by domestication than 
any other parts. This is the case, as we have seen, with the 
guinea pig, and it is no less true of the ox, and some others." — 
(P. 355.) I have heard a similar remark made by Professor 
Fleming, that he had never seen an entirely white ox, but 
that the ears always remained of a different colour. Now in 
these park-kept white cattle, we have this same peculiarity 
also existing. And Professor Nilsson alludes in his paper, 
to the well-known fact, that no race of wild oxen of 
this white colour is known to naturalists. In Mr Hind- 
marsh's paper, already referred to, he quotes passages from 
several ancient authors, to justify the hypothesis of their being 
the remains of the ancient wild cattle of the country : these 
authors are,. Hector Boece or Boethius, " Scotorum Historian 
a Prima Gentis Origine," published at Paris in 1526 ; and 
Bishop John Leslie's work " De Origine, Moribus, et Rebus 
Gestis Scotorum," published at Rome in 1578. Now these, 
I suspect, must be considered, not as two independent autho- 
rities, but merely as one ; for the Bishop, in his book, pub- 
lished some fifty- two years after the other, gives manifestly, in 
this instance, almost a verbatim copy of the statements of 
Boethius. To shew this, I may compare the original passages, 
which refer to the existence of these white cattle in the Great 
Caledonian Forest, which formerly covered the country from 
Stirling to Athol. 1, Boethius, " Scotorum Histories a 
Prima Gentis Origine" fol. 6, 1. 63 ; Scotorum Regni De- 
scriptio, &c, of edit. Paris 1574:—" Hie initia olim fuere 
Caledonise sylvge, manentibus videlicet veteribus adhuc nomi- 

13-4 Notices of various Animal Remains 

nibus Callendar et Caldar, excurrens per Monteh et Erne- 
vallem longo tractu ad Atholiam et Loquhabriam usque. 
Gignere solet ea sylva boves candissimos in formam leonis 
jubam ferentes, csotera mansuetis simillimos, verum adeo 
feros indomitosque atque humanum refugientes consortium, 
ut quas herbas, arboresque aut frutices humana contrectatas 
manu senserint plurimos deinceps dies fugiant : capti autem 
arte quapiam (quod difficilimum est) mox paulo prae msesti- 
tia moriantur." — " Hujus autem animalis carnes esui jucun- 
dissimse sunt, atque in primis nobilitati grata3, verum cartila- 
ginosse. Coeterum quum tota olim silva nasci ea solerent : in 
una tan turn nunc ejus parte reperiuntur, quse Cummirnald 
appellator, aliis gula humana ad, internecionem redactis." 

2. Bishop Leslie, De Origine, Moribus et Rebus Gestis 
Scotorum, Rome, 1578, p. 19, (Scotia Descriptio) : — " Ab his 
regionibus vastissima ilia olim Caledonia sylva initium sump- 
sit, ut qusedam locorum nomina hodie indicant." — " In Cale- 
donia olim frequens erat sylvestris quidem bos, nunc vero 
rarior, qui colore candissimo, jubam densam, ac demissam 
instar leonis gestat, truculentus, ac ferus ab humano genere 
abhorrens, ut quaecunque homines vel manibus contrectarint, 
vel halitu perflaverint, ab iis multos post dies omnino absti- 
nuerint." — " Ejus carnes cartilaginosse sed saporis suavissi- 
mi. Erat is olim per illam vastissimam Caledonise sylvam 
frequens, sed humana ingluvie jam assumptus, tribus tan turn 
locis est reliquus, StiriviKngi, Cumernaldise, et Kincarnise." 
And as for Boethius himself, we must remember, that though 
perhaps a good enough authority as to anything that hap- 
pened under his own observation, he is so credulous as to 
believe apparently all that was told him, however extraordi- 
nary ; so that his description of these cattle, of the purest 
white, maned like lions, untameably wild, and fleeing the 
very neighbourhood, or even the scent of men, and which 
apparently he had never seen, must all be taken with a con- 
siderable allowance, and in all probability were nothing more 
than strayed domestic cattle, which, in the course of years, 
had lapsed into a semiwild state. As an instance of his cre- 
dulity, I may refer, in the words of Bellenden's Translation of 
1553, to his account of the extraordinary animal described 

found near Newstead, Roxburghshire. 135 

by Sir Duncan Campbell, — " That out of Garloll, ane loch of 
Argyle, the yeir of God M.DX yeiris, came ane terrible beast, 
als meikil as ane grew hound, futit like ane ganar, and straik 
down greit trees with the dint of her tail, and slew thre men 
quhilks wer at their hountis with thre straikis of her tail ; 
and wer not the remanent hunteris clam up in Strang aikis, 
they had been all slane in the samin maner." — ^Chap. vii., 
Bellenden's Trans, of Boethius 1 History.) 

It is curious, however, to trace the description of these 
white cattle, maned like lions, &c, published by Boece in 
1526 ; as it seems to have been adopted by naturalists on his 
authority, and to have apparently been the only source from 
which they derived their descriptions. Aldrovandus, in his 
work, " Quadrupedum Omnium Bisulcorum," Bonon, 1632, 
referring to the older work of Gesner, "Historia Animalium,'' 
1551 ; notices these white cattle, in all probability from their 
being described as having manes like lions, &c, under the 
name of Bison album Scoticum, sive Calydonicum, using the 
very words of Boece already quoted. Then, in the " Historia 
Naturalis deQuadrupedibus" of John Jonston,MJ)., published 
at Amsterdam, 1657, we have this same description of Boece, 
again in part repeated ; in two different places, however ; 
first, in the Chap. " De Bove Domestico ;" and again, " De 
Bobus Feris,' 1 with a marginal reference to Aldrovand. His- 
tor. Bisul. To shew this more fully 1 may quote the passages, 
Art. 1, De Bove Domestico. Differential, p. 34. " In Scotia 
boves sunt sylvestres colore candidissimo, juba densa ac de- 
missa, truculenti et feri, adeoque ab humano genere abhor- 
rentes, ut ab iis quae homines vel manibus contrectarint, vel 
halitu perflaverint, per multos dies abstineant, dolo capti, 
moriantur. Carnes cartilaginosse habent." And again, Art. 2. 
De Bobus Feris, p. 1. De Bisonte. " Hue pertinet et Bison 
Scoticus. Candidissimum esse aiunt, in formam leonis jubam 
ferre, csetera mansuetis simillimum, verum adeo ferum et 
indomitum, humanique consortii hostem, ut quas herbas aut 
frutices human a contrectatas manu senserit, plurimos dein- 
ceps fugiat : captum autem arte quadam, mox pree msestitia 
mori.'' So that we have now two species, apparently made 
out of Boece' s description ; and accordingly, in the Scotia 

136 Notices of various Animal Remains 

Illustrata, sive Prodromus Historian Naturalis of Robert 
Sibbald, M.D., published at Edinburgh in 1684, we find this 
Scottish naturalist quoting from Jonston's work, referred to 
above, adding, however, the following remarks : — " Qusequi- 
dem ab Historicis nostris petita sunt, sed confirmatione egent. 
In pluribus locis montana? partis Scotia? reperiuntur quidem 
Boves feri, albi quoque : sed non ita truculently neque forma a 
domesticis different. An jubati Bisontes nunc extent, nescio." 
De Bisulcis Ruminantibus Cornigeris, p. 7. So that Sibbald 
seems to doubt the existence of the so-called Bison Scoticus, 
though he admits that white cattle, exactly however resem- 
bling the domesticated breeds, and by no means so fierce and 
savage as they are described, still run wild in some of the 
mountainous districts of the country. The original source of 
the whole statement being apparently the description given 
by Boece, and repeated by Bishop Leslie, which I have already 
taken the liberty of criticising, as being, in all probability, 
a very exaggerated account. And moreover, if we search 
still further back in the records of a much greater antiquity, 
we find evidently the same kind of white cattle described in 
such a way as seems to me to imply, without a doubt, their 
thorough domestication. As in the " Leges Wallica?," of 
" Howell Dda," the Welsh laws of King Howell the Good, 
which date from about a.d. 942-3, or before the middle of 
the tenth century, — vide Translation by Gul s . Wottonus, 
London, 1730. We there find white cattle with red ears, in 
all probability the same breed of cattle as those I have been 
referring to, ordered to be paid as a compensation for offences 
committed against the Princes of Wales — (vide Lib. 1, chap, 
vi., p. 10-11 ) : "De solvenda Multa Regis. — Multa pro injuria 
Begi Aberfravise illata hoc modo solvenda. Centum vaccas 
pro qualibet centuria subditione ejus Reus sol vet, et cum 
singulis centenis vaccis unum Taurum auribus rufis praeditum 
cum Virga aurea ejusdem cum Rege longitudinis, magnitu- 
dine digiti ejus minimi, et crassitudine unguis aratoris qui 
per novem annos araverit. Aurum nemini debitur nisi Regi 
Aberfravise." — " 3. Domini Dinevora? privilegium est acci- 
pere pro compensatione injuria? sibi illata? vaccas alba* 
aures rufas habentes, totidem quot ordine sibi succedentes 

found near Newstead, Roxburghshire. 137 

pertingent ab Argoelia (e) ad Dinevoram, et cum singulis 
vicenis vaccis taurum ejusdem coloris. Aurum nemini pen- 
ditur nisi Regi Dinevorae vel Regi Aberfravise." — " (e) Loci 
nomen prope Dinevoram, sibi ubi praecise situs sit ignoratur." 
— It seems very evident that such numbers of living wild 
cattle could never be exacted as payment of a fine, but that 
beyond all doubt domesticated cattle are here referred to, 
and apparently, from the special character of the notice, a 
favourite variety, highly prized for their beauty and peculiar 
colour. And to shew how highly this breed of cattle had 
been valued at a very early period, I may quote several pas- 
sages from Mr Youatt's well-known work " On Cattle." He 
says, (p. 478,) " Howel dha, or Howell the Good, describes 
some of the "Welsh cattle, in the tenth century, as being 
' white, with red ears,' resembling the wild cattle of Chil- 
lingham Castle. An early record speaks of a hundred white 
cows with red ears being demanded as a compensation for 
certain offences against the Princes both of North and South 
Wales. If the cattle were of a dark or black colour, one 
hundred and fifty were to be presented. When the Cambrian 
Princes did homage to the King of England, the same number 
of cattle, and of the same description, were rendered in ac- 
knowledgment of sovereignty. Speed tells us that Maud de 
Breos, in order to appease King John, whom her husband 
had offended, sent to his Queen a present from Brecknock- 
shire of four hundred cows and a bull, all white, and with 
red ears. Whether this was the usual colour of the ancient 
breed of Welsh and British cattle, or a rare variety, esteemed 
on account of its beauty, and chiefly preserved in the parks 
of the nobles, we are unable to determine. The latter is the 
more probable supposition ; and the same records that de- 
scribe the ' white cattle with red ears,' speak also of the 
' dark or black- coloured breed, ' which now exists, and which 
is general throughout the principality." It appears to me but 
natural to suppose that these were all domesticated, and 
surely not wild cattle, to which reference has been made in 
these various passages ; and that they were a highly-prized 
variety, is shewn by their colour being specially mentioned, 
as well as their being valued at a half more than the dark- 

138 JVo tices of vario us A nima I Remains 

coloured, which were most probably the more common breed 
of the district. And let me call to your recollection a 
remark of Hector Boece himself, in the passage already 
quoted : that, with the exception of their colour and manes, 
the wild white cattle are exceedingly like the ordinary tame 
or domesticated breed ; and that their flesh is very pleasant 
food, and much approved of by the nobility ; — both of which 
observations, in my opinion, tend to shew the truth of the 
views now stated. 

Youatt says, the old legends of Wales speak of the ancient 
domesticated cattle, being of a dark or reddish colour, resem- 
bling considerably the Devon cattle ; and according to the 
same authority, " the slightest observation will convince us 
that the cattle in Devonshire, Sussex, Wales, and Scotland, 
are all essentially the same." He considers that red had been 
their primitive colour, as he traces it through all these varie- 
ties, and declares that even where another colour, as black, 
now prevails, the memory of the red still remains, and has a 
superstitious reverence paid to it in the legends of the people. 
In Scotland also there has always existed a popular feeling of 
preference for the red cow, it being declared to be " luckier," 
and to give more milk. It is, perhaps, worthy of notice, in re- 
lation to the question of colour, that the Urus, or B. primi- 
genius, is believed to have been of a dark or black colour ; and 
in what I consider to be a very rare specimen of a portion of 
the skull of the Bos longifrons, with the horn and part of 
the skin and hair still attached, which was kindly shewn me 
by Professor Fleming, the colour of the hair, as far as you 
can judge from a specimen found in an Irish bog, is also of 
a black or dark reddish or brownish tint ; it may be, bear- 
ing a relation to the very colour to which I have been allud- 

And, in conclusion, I may remark, that the small size of 
the domesticated cattle in this country, from the very earliest 
times, seems to me an additional and unanswerable objection 
to their having descended from the gigantic Urus. Professor 
Nilsson, however, in his paper already referred to, considers 
" that we may take it as a given and general rule, that the 
tame race is always less than the wild species from which it 

found near New stead, Roxburghshire. 139 

springs." Now this is a proposition which I am very much 
inclined to doubt, believing, as I do, that animals are by no 
means necessarily degenerated and dwarfed in their dimen- 
sions, as the Professor supposes, when taken under the care 
and protection of man, but, on the contrary, are rather in- 
creased in size, by careful tending and feeding, as well as by 
attention to their breeding ; and examples in proof of this 
view, I am inclined to think, may be found in our domesti- 
cated dogs, horses, &c. We know, from such specimens as 
these skulls I have described, the small size of at least some 
species of cattle in the Roman period ; and others, of an ex- 
actly corresponding kind and size, have been found, as 
already mentioned, belonging to an immensely older geo- 
logic period, carrying us back in this way to times alto- 
gether prior to the existence of man. Then, in much later 
times, as shewn in the Welsh Laws of Howell the Good, 
in the tenth century, (vide Wotton's Trans. Leges Wallicos,) 
we have apparently given to us the different sizes of the 
yokes used for ploughing ; and if so, from these we find that the 
cattle of that date must have been much smaller than those of 
the present day. Thus we find it stated in Lib. III., chap, ix., 
p. 279, Be Societate Arationis. — " Jugum breve qnattuor 
pedibus (longum) ; Jugum maiale octonis pedibus ; Jugum 
axillare duodenis pedibus ; Jugum longum senis denis pedi- 
bus." In other passages of these laws, we have these vari- 
ous yokes referred to as measures of the land ; being ap- 
parently taken from the well-known sizes of the different 
yokes themselves. The cattle, Mr Youatt says, were always 
yoked abreast, and the short yoke for two oxen was only four 
Welsh feet of nine inches each, or three feet English in length, 
increasing in the same proportion for four oxen ; and for 
eight, which was 16 Welsh feet, or 12 feet English long. 
Chap, ix., 2 of Lib. III. of Leges Wallicm. — " Uncia longi- 
tudine trium granorum hordeacorum constat — Palma tribus 
unciis — Pes tribus palmis ;" shewing in this way of what 
these measures consist. Mr Youatt declares that an ox of 
the present day would require a somewhat larger space than 
18 inches, in order to work or even to stand. (Vide Youatt 
" On Cattle.'') And when we remember the small size of our 

140 Notices of various Animal Remains 

domesticated cattle in ancient times, it is interesting to no- 
tice another remark in page 3 of his valuable work, in re- 
gard to the comparative size of the well-tended cattle of the 
present day : " There is no doubt that within the last century, 
their size has progressively increased in England, and kept 
pace with the improvement of agriculture." How far this 
may go on, seems rather a difficult matter to determine, as 
well as to what extent a species of animal like the ox, may 
be changed from its original type, degenerating, it may be, 
in some places, and improving in others, by being long under 
the dominion and management of experimenting and calcu- 
lating man. 

These rough notes I consider as tending to shew the ex- 
treme improbability of our domestic cattle being the descend- 
ants of the large-sized Bos primigenius ; and shall I say, 
the probability of their true progenitor being this small and 
equally-ancient Bos longifrons, or short-horned ox, which has 
been proved to have existed in this country from the later 
geologic periods down at least to the bustling times of busy 

And in conclusion I have to return to my catalogue of 
animal remains, and making a rapid descent in the scale of 
animal life, allude to an ancient mollusc, which had been 
prized then as now, as a delicacy for the table, and is the 
last of these relics I have to notice, which were found with 
the traces of the Roman occupation of this district ; I refer 
to the Common Oyster, Ostrea edulis* of which this shell 
(which I exhibit) and several others were found ; affording a 
proof of the large size of this ancient shell-fish, as well as 
of the fondness of the Roman epicure, even at this inland 
station, for the celebrated oysters of our British seas. 

* My best thanks are due to my friend Mr Adam Smith, Darnick ; and to 
Mr Francis Burnet, Ncwstead, for their zeal in procuring for me these various 

found near Newstead, Roxburghshire. 




O.'tf <N • • • <?• 

a -H- 
3 as 


co, : 60 : : : '. : \o : : : -* co ^ : '• '■ '. 

A a 



*->. CO .ip.rH... 

5 a> 

<m : :::;:.' »b '■ j>. '. t* '■ '. '• '• '■ '. 

£ 0-< 


co SC 



. 3 



/-j. ^ "^ ■? • ■* ' -? 1 i^ • <•? • ^ *? 












»o : ::::::: : : : j^ t- : : : : : 



•<* : :::::: 10 : : : :"rp ^ : : : : 



^ r—l 




O . . . «D .. .. 


co : :::::: : : : -* ^h oj : : : : 



w .-1 




«-> • . to . to <p .. .. 

c^ : 00 : : : : : 10 : «b '. cb co p-h : : : : 



v — ^ i—i 





O • -OS .... 



r-t : 00 : : : : : \q : <b : ^ -* c-i : : : : 



£ «p .. ^ . CO OS 



q : :::::: »b : : t* co <jj : •*< : 




1— 1 * 


^ <£)co>o?p 00 a M co «p co as 


J23 M M 








—1 cpcpjocico<x> <© co^a>. 

1— 1 

-^ n oo«N(NN6>b ffl cbw>o^H^ : : : 


*" ' to cp in qj op co cooicscoas co t-> co 


6 00 oo ^ <>i cn 06 © cb <b cb cb cb <o cb -* »b ■>* 


JZi rH rH rH 

*="-* ' r~>—. s—^.^-^—* 

3 . 1 ^ j§' 

5 • Is ja g fe « » 

.-S ' S, • • So- 2 ' • aT • «R d ^ • • 

riff- -III iljlll M 

■3 .S 2 a ^ j .-5 s g g § S § | 5 * S I § g ' 3 

^0«lh p ofOO^oi?3oi,2J fl .jH7H 3 

^raOO^^OO^o c»_3co , <» _, CO c^, 

41 Ch !h O ^ <H <H tn tn ©ft^ft 

g * S 2 S 2 °2 g-S^'S^S 

►q hh PhJ pq cq W J« W pq 


£ .2 



^ 3 


r2 CO . <» 


S j? « s 

3 a 

co _d 5 S 

« _ JO 

fB • *" ° 

* H- ft 4-+ 


ral Results of the Microscopical Examination of Sound- 
ings, made by the U. S. Coast Survey off the Atlantic 
Coast of the United States. By Professor J. W. Bailey, 
of the Military Academy, West Point. 

1st, The most remarkable fact determined by the exami- 
nation of the above-mentioned soundings is, that in all the 
deep soundings, from that of 51 fathoms south-east of Mon- 
tauk Point, to that of 90 fathoms south-east of Cape Hen- 
lopen, there is a truly wonderful development of minute or- 
ganic forms, consisting chiefly of Polythalamia, which occur 
in an abundance rivalling those vast accumulations of ana- 
logous forms constituting the marls under the city of Charles- 
ton, S. C. 

2d, While there is a general resemblance between the 
species found in all the deep soundings above mentioned, the 
same species of Polythalamia occurring with few exceptions 
at each locality, yet each place has its predominant species ; 
thus in the most southerly sounding (H. No. 1, 90 fathoms), 
there occurs a much greater number of Globigerina than in 
any of the others ; while Textilaria atlantica, although pre- 
sent, is by no means so abundant as in G. No. 8, 89 fa- 

3d, Infusoria, as well as Polythalamia, occur in the deep 
soundings ; but the Infusoria are few in number, and consist 
of Coscinodisci, Galionella sulcata, and other species, which 
probably swim freely in the ocean ; while none of the littoral 
parasitic species, such as Achnanthes, Jsthmia, Biddulphia, 
Striatella, and Synedra are found. 

4th, It is worthy of notice, that in the deep soundings not 
a single specimen was found of Polythalamia belonging to 
the Plicatilia of Ehrenberg (Agathistiques of D ? Orbigny\ 
while a number of these forms were found in the shallow 
soundings, and they arc well known to occur in vast quanti- 
ties around the shores of Florida and the West India Islands. 
Tli is group of Polythalamia appears to have been created 
after the deposition of the chalk formation, in which no trace 
of such forms occur, while they are very abundant in the 

Results of Microscopical Examination of Soundings. 143 

tertiary deposits. Their entire absence in the deep sound- 
ings, where vast numbers of other Polythalamia occur, and 
their presence in littoral deposits, would seem to indicate 
that for their abundant development comparatively shallow 
seas are necessary ; thus affording additional evidence of 
difference in the depths of the seas from which the cretaceous 
and tertiary bed were deposited. 

5th, The deep soundings were all from localities which are 
more or less under the influence of the Gulf Stream, and it 
is not improbable that the high temperature of the waters 
along the oceanic current may be the cause of immense deve- 
lopment of organic life, making its path, as is shewn by the 
soundings, a perfect milky way of Polythalamia forms. The 
deposits under Charleston may have been produced under 
the similar influence of an ancient Gulf Stream. 

6th, From the presence of such great numbers of Polytha- 
lamia in the deep soundings, there results a very large pro- 
portion of calcareous matter, thus presenting a striking dif- 
ference between them and the quartzose and felspathie sands 
nearer shore. 

1th, The littoral sands obtained in shallow soundings at 
first view appear to give little promise of affording any In- 
fusoria. But notwithstanding their coarse, and, in some 
cases, even gravelly nature, they all yield by levigation a 
considerable number of siliceous Infusoria, which, in variety 
and abundance, exceed those found in the deep soundings. 

8th, None of the soundings present anything resembling 
the vast accumulations of Infusoria which occur in the 
Miocene infusorial marls of Virginia and Maryland ; and 
indeed, I have never found, even in estuaries, any recent 
deposit at all resembling the fossil ones, in abundance and 
variety of species, with the exception of the mud of a small 
creek opening into the Atlantic near Rockaway, Long Island. 

9th, The occurrence of the pebble of limestone with encri- 
nal plates in the gravel of F. No. 10, south-east of Little 
Egg Harbour, is of some interest, as the nearest beds from 
which it could have come are the Silurian formations of 
Pennsylvania or northern New Jersey. It indicates a trans- 
portation of drift to a considerable distance seaward. 

144 Co-opera tion of differ en t Na tions 

10th, In addition to the quartzose grains in the soundings, 
fragments of felspar and hornblende (recognisable under the 
microscope by their cleavage planes and colour) are found. 
The quartz, however, predominates, its grains being sharp 
and angular in the deep soundings, and often rounded or even 
polished in the shallower ones. 

The Reply of the President and Council of the Royal Society, 
to a Letter addressed to them by the Secretary of State 
for Foreign Affairs, on the subject of the co-operation of 
different Nations in Meteorological Observations. 

Somerset House, 10th May 1852. 

Sir, — I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of March the 4th, transmitting, by direction of the Earl of Malmes- 
bury, several documents received from foreign Governments in reply 
to a proposal made to them by Her Majesty's Government, for their 
co-operation in establishing a uniform system of recording meteoro- 
logical observations, and requesting the opinion of the President and 
Council of the Royal Society in reference to a proposition which has 
been made by the Government of the United States, respecting the 
manner in which the proposed co-operation should be carried out. 

Having submitted your letter, with its enclosures, to the President 
and Council of the Royal Society, I am directed to convey to you the 
following reply. 

With reference to the subject of well-directed and systematically 
conducted meteorological observations generally, and to the encou- 
ragement and support to be given to them by the Governments of 
different countries, the President and Council are of opinion that 
they are highly deserving of much consideration, not only for their 
scientific value, but also on account of the important bearing which 
correct climatological knowledge has on the welfare and material 
interests of the peop^ of every country. 

With reference to the proposal for the establishment of a uniform 
plan in respect to instruments and modes of observation, the Presi- 
dent and Council are not of opinion that any practical advantage is 
likely to be obtained by pressing such a proposition in the present 
state of meteorological science. Most of the principal Governments 
of the European Continent, as Russia, Prussia, Austria. Bavaria, and 
Belgium, have already organised establishments for climatological re- 
searches in their respective states, and have placed them under tho 

in Meteorological Observations. 145 

superintendence of men eminently qualified by theoretical and prac- 
tical knowledge, and whose previous publications had obtained for 
them a general European reputation. Such men are Kupffer, Dove, 
Kreil, Lamont and Quetelet ; under whose direction the meteorolo- 
gical observations in the above-named countries are proceeding ; the 
instruments have been constructed under their care, and the instruc- 
tions drawn up and published by them under the sanction of their 
respective governments. The observations as they are made are sent 
to them, are reduced and co-ordinated under their superintendence, 
and are published at the expense of the governments. Every year 
is now producing publications of this nature in the countries referred 
to, and by the rapid intercommunication of these, the results of. the 
experience of one country, and the modifications and improvements 
which experience may suggest, become quickly known to all. To 
call on countries already so advanced in systematically-conducted 
meteorological observations, to remodel their instructions and instru- 
ments, with a view of establishing uniformity in these respects, 
would probably, if pressed, elicit from other governments also the 
reply which Her Majesty's Government have received from Prince 
Schwarzenberg, conveyed in the Earl of Westmoreland's letter to 
Viscount Palmerston, viz., the transmission of a copy of the instruc- 
tions which have been given to the Meteorological Observatories, 
forty-five in number, in the Austrian dominions, and a reference to 
the results obtained at those observatories, which are stated to be in 
regular course of publication. 

In an earlier stage, when these establishments were either form- 
ing or were only in contemplation, it was considered that advantage 
might arise from a discussion of the objects to be principally kept in 
view, and of the instruments and methods by which these might be 
most successfully prosecuted. For this purpose, a conference was 
held at Cambridge, in England, in 1845, which was attended by 
many of the most distinguished meteorologists in Europe, and 
amongst them by all the gentlemen whose names are above stated, 
and who were expressly sent by their respective governments. The 
impulse communicated by this assemblage was without doubt highly 
beneficial, and the influence of the discussions which took place may 
perhaps be traced in some of the arrangements under which the re- 
searches in different countries are now proceeding ; but in the stage - 
to which they have advanced, it may be doubted whether any mea- 
sures are likely to be more beneficial than those which would increase 
the facilities of a cheap and rapid intercommunication of the results 
of the researches which are in progress. 

With reference " to the suggestions made by the scientific men of 
the United States," the proposition of Lieutenant Maury, to give a 
greater extension and a more systematic direction to the meteorolo- 
igical observations to be made at sea, appears to be deserving of the 
most serious attention of the Board of Admiralty. In order to un- 

140 Co-operation of different Nations 

derstand the importance of this proposition, it will be proper to refer 
to the system of observations which has been adopted of late years 
in the navy and merchant service of the United States, and to some 
few of the results to which it has already led. Instructions are given 
to naval captains and masters of ships, to note in their logs the points 
of the compass from which the wind blows, at least once in every 
eight hours ; to record the temperature of the air, and of the water 
at the surface, and when practicable, at considerable depths of the 
sea; to notice all remarkable phenomena which may serve to charac- 
terise particular regions of the ocean, more especially the direction, 
the velocity, the depths, and limits of the currents : special instruc- 
tions also are given to whalers, to note down the regions where 
whales are found, and the limits of the range of their different species. 
A scheme for taking these observations regularly and systematically, 
was submitted by Lieutenant Maury to the Chief of the Bureau of 
Ordnance and Hydrography, in 1842, and instantly adopted: de- 
tailed instructions were given to every American shipmaster, upon 
his clearing from the Custom-House, accompanied by a request that 
he would transmit to the proper office, after his return from his 
voyage, copies of his logs, as far at least as they related to these ob- 
servations, with a view to their being examined, discussed, and em- 
bodied in charts of the winds and currents, and in the compilation of 
sailing directions to every part of the globe. For some years the 
instructions thus furnished received very little attention, and very 
few observations were made or communicated; the publication, how- 
ever, in 1848, of some charts, founded upon the discussion of the scanty 
materials which had come to hand, or which could be collected from 
other sources, and which indicated much shorter routes than had 
hitherto been followed to Rio and other ports of South America, 
was sufficient to satisfy some of the more intelligent shipmasters of 
the object and real importance of the scheme, and in less than two 
years from that time it had received the cordial co-operation of the 
masters of nearly every ship that sailed. At the present time, there 
are nearly 1000 masters of ships who are engaged in making these 
observations ; they receive freely in return the charts of the winds 
and currents, and the sailing directions which are formed upon them, 
corrected up to the latest period. 

Short as is the time that this system has been in operation, the 
results to which it has led have proved of very great importance to 
the interests of navigation and commerce. The routes to many of 
the most frequented ports in different parts of the globe have been 
materially shortened, that to San Francisco in California by nearly 
one third : a system of southwardly monsoons in the equatorial 
regions of the Atlantic and on the west coast of America has been 
discovered ; a vibratory motion of the trade-wind zones, and with 
their belts of calms and their limits for every month of the year, has 
been determined ; the course, bifurcations, limits and other 

in Meteorological Observations. 147 

mena of the Great Gulf-stream have been more accurately defined, 
and the existence of almost equally remarkable systems of currents 
in the Indian Ocean, on the coast of China, and on the North-western 
coast of America and elsewhere has been ascertained : there are, in 
fact, very few departments of the science of meteorology and hydro- 
graphy which have not received very valuable additions ; whilst the 
more accurate determination of the parts of the Pacific Ocean, where 
the sperm-whale is found (which are very limited in extent), as well 
as the limits of the range of those of other species, has contributed 
very materially to the success of the American whale fishery, one 
of the most extensive and productive of all their fields of enterprise 
and industry. 

The success of this system of co-operative observations has already 
led to the establishment of societies at Bombay and Calcutta, for ob- 
taining, by similar means, a better knowledge of the winds, currents, 
and the course of the streams of the Indian seas. 

But it is to the government of this country that the demand for 
co-operation, and for the interchange of observations, is most earnestly 
addressed by the government of the United States ; and the Presi- 
dent and Council of the Royal Society express their hope that it will 
not be addressed in vain. We possess in our ships of war, in our 
packet service, and in our vast commercial navy, better means of mak- 
ing such observations, and a greater interest in the results to which 
they lead, than any other nation. For this purpose, every ship which 
is under the control of the Admiralty should be furnished with 
instruments properly constructed and compared, and with proper in- 
structions for using them : similar instructions for making and record- 
ing observations, as far as their means will allow, should be sent to 
every ship that sails, with a request that the results of them be trans- 
mitted to the Hydrographer's Office of the Admiralty, where an 
adequate staff of officers or others should be provided for their prompt 
examination, and the publication of the improved charts and sailing 
directions to which they would lead ; above all, it seems desirable to 
establish a prompt communication with the Hydrographer's Office of 
the United States, so that the united labours of the two greatest 
naval and commercial nations of the world may be combined, with 
the least practicable delay, in promoting the interests of navigation. 

The President and Council refer to the documents which have been 
submitted to them, and more especially to the " Explanations and 
Sailing Directions to accompany wind and current charts" prepared 
by Lieutenant Maury, for a more detailed account of this system of 
co-operative observations, and of the grounds upon which they have 
ventured to make the preceding recommendations. 

S. Hunter Christie, Sec. R.S. 

H. U. Addington, Esq. 

K 2 


On the Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle, and on 
Aurorai Boreales. By Auguste de la Rive; being an 
extract from a Letter to M. Arago.* 

Allow me to communicate to you, with the request that you will 
make it known to the Academie des Sciences, an extract of a memoir 
recently read before our Societe de Physique et d'Histoire Natu- 
relle, on the cause of the diurnal variations of the magnet needle, 
and of Aurorse Boreales. In assigning successfully these two classes 
of phenomena to the same origin, I have but followed the path you 
have pointed out; for more than thirty years ago you established, 
with indefatigable perseverance, by your numerous observations, the 
remarkable agreement which prevails between the appearances of the 
aurora borealis and the disturbance of the magnet needle. 


The following is my theory, — you will observe that it rests solely 
upon well ascertained facts, and on principles of physics positively 

I had already, in 1836, in a notice upon hail,f attempted to shew 
that the atmospheric electricity owes its origin to the unequal distri- 
bution of temperature in the strata of the atmosphere. It is well 
known that, in a body of any nature whatsoever, heated at one of its 
extremities and cooled at the other, the positive electricity proceeds 
from the hot part to the cold, and the negative electricity in the con- 
trary direction; it thence results that the lower extremity of an 
atmospheric column is constantly negative, and the upper one con- 
stantly positive. This difference of opposite electric conditions must 
be so much the greater, the more considerable is the difference of 
temperature ; consequently more marked in our latitudes in summer 
than in winter, more striking in general in the equatorial than in 
the polar regions. It must be observed that the negative state of 
the lower portions of the atmospheric columns must be communi- 
cated to the surface of the earth on which they repose, whilst the 
positive state of the upper portions is diffused, more or less, from 
above downwards, through nearly the whole of each of the columns, 
according to the facilities offered by the greater or less degree of 
humidity of the air to the propagation of the electricity. An at- 
mospheric column, therefore, resembles a high-pressure battery, on 
account of the imperfect conductibility of the elements of which it 
is composed. A battery, the negative pole of which is in constant 
and direct communication with the terrestrial globe, discharges itself 
upon the globe, whilst it becomes itself charged with the electricity 
of its positive pole, which is distributed over it with an intensity de- 

* From the Annales de Ohimie et de Physique, for March 1849. 
t Bibliothique Unwerselle, vol. iii. p. 217. Nonvelle serie. 

Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle. U9 

creasing with the distance from this pole; this explains why the 
positive electricity increases with the height of the atmosphere. 

The causes which determine the accumulation of negative electri- 
city at the surface of the earth, and of positive electricity in the 
upper regions of the atmosphere, act in a continuous manner : 
there should thence result an unlimited tension of the two opposite 
electric states, if, having attained a certain degree of energy, they 
did not neutralize each other by the aid of different circumstances. 
In other words, having reached a certain limit of tension which 
varies with the state of the atmosphere and the surface of the earth, 
the two electricities cannot go beyond it, and unite or neutralize 
each other as regards the excess over that limit. This neutraliza- 
tion is effected in two ways, in a normal or constant manner, and in 
an irregular and accidental manner. 

This second mode is exhibited under a variety of forms; some- 
times it is simply the humidity of the air, and better still, the rain 
or snow, which re-establish the electrical equilibrium between the 
earth and the atmosphere ; in some cases waterspouts manifest in an 
energetic form the mutual action of the two electricities, which tend 
to unite. Sometimes the winds, by mixing the air in contact with the 
surface of the earth, and like it negative, with the positive air of 
the more elevated regions, give rise to sheet-lightning, or to storms, 
when there is at the same time a formation of clouds and condensa- 
tion of aqueous vapours, owing to the humidity and different tempera- 
ture of the strata of air which become mixed. The attraction of 
clouds by mountains, the luminous phenomena exhibited at the ex- 
tremity of elevated points, are likewise due to the same cause. But 
I will not stop to discuss further all these natural and intelligible 
consequences of the theory which I expound. I shall confine my- 
self to one single remark, which is, that we must bear in mind, that 
in observations of atmospheric electricity, the intensity of the electric 
signs perceived is not always a proof of the intensity of the electri- 
city itself; for the humidity of the atmosphere, by favouring the 
propagation of the electricity of the upper strata, may give rise, as 
is frequently seen in winter, to very powerful electrical manifestations 
even when the cause producing them is not very powerful. The 
contrary is frequently seen in summer. 

I now pass to the regular and normal mode of neutralization of 
the two electricities. I had already suspected the existence of this 
mode in my notice of 1836; but I did not announce it positively, 
because there was then wanting a fact, which science now possesses, 
viz., the perfect conductibility of the terrestrial globe, with which 
the employment of the electric telegraph has made us acquainted. 

To make it understood how I conceive this mode of neutralization, 
I divide the atmosphere into annular strata parallel with the equa- 
tor ; the positive electricity accumulated at the external portion of 
this layer cannot exceed a certain degree of tension without travel'- 

150 Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle. 

sing rarefied and more or less humid air until it reaches the polar 
regions*, where finding an atmosphere saturated with humidity, it 
will combine readily with the negative electricity accumulated on the 
earth. We have thus the circuit formed; each annular stratum of 
the atmosphere gives rise to a current, which proceeds, in the elevated 
regions, from the upper portion of the stratum towards the pole, re- 
descends to the earth through the atmosphere surrounding the poles, 
and returns by the surface of the globe from the pole to the lower 
part of the stratum from which it started. These currents will 
constantly be the more numerous, and the more concentrated, the 
nearer we approach the pole ; and as they all proceed in the same 
direction, that is to say, from south to north, in the upper portion of 
the atmosphere, and from north to south on the surface of the earth, 
their effect will become the more perceptible in proportion as we 
leave the equator and approach the pole. But as the currents pro- 
duced by the equatorial strata are individually stronger than those 
proceeding from more northerly strata, the difference, although real, 
will notwithstanding be less than would be believed. What passes 
in our northern hemisphere must occur in exactly the same manner 
in the southern hemisphere ; the currents proceed equally from the 
equator to the pole in the upper regions of the air, and from the 
pole to the equator on the surface of the earth ; consequently, for 
an observer travelling from the north pole to the south, the current 
would proceed in the same direction from the northern pole to the 
equator and in a contrary direction from the equator to the 
southern pole : I speak here of the current circulating on the sur- 
face of the earth. I ought, moreover, to observe that the limit 
which separates the regions occupied by each of these two great 
currents, is not the equator properly so-called, for it must be vari- 
able ; it is, according to my theory, the parallel between the tropics 
which has the sun at its zenith ; it changes consequently each day. 
Now, it is easy to conceive the cause of the diurnal variations of 
the magnetic needle. In conformity with the laws established by 
Limpere, the current which proceeds from the northern pole to the 
equator ought to cause the north pole of the needle to deviate to 
the west, which is what takes place in our hemisphere ; and the 
current which proceeds from the southern pole to the equator 
should cause the north pole of the needle to deviate to the east, which 
is precisely what occurs in the southern hemisphere. The deviation 
should be in one and the same place ; the more considerable the 
greater the difference of temperature, and consequently of the elec- 
tric conditions between the lower and the upper stratum of the atmo- 
sphere ; thus the deviation increases from the morning to l h 30 m 
P.M. It is more considerable in those months during which the 
sun is longer above the horizon ; it is at its minimum in the winter 
months. Lastly, these diurnal variations increase in magnitude in 
proportion as we recede from the equator and approach the pole , 

Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic JSeedle. 151 

a result which again perfectly agrees with what I have stated re- 
specting the increase in number of the currents towards the polar 
regions. In these regions themselves, the variations may be very 
irregular, and may be entirely absent if the magnetic needle 
happens to be placed in those very localities where the electric cur- 
rents traverse the atmosphere to reach the earth ; in fact, a needle 
surrounded thus on all sides by currents, is no longer affected by 
them, or at least is no longer affected in a regular manner. This 
remark may explain certain observations, especially those made at 
Port Bowen, which appeared rather exceptional. 

On examining carefully all the magnetic observations I was able 
to consult, and in particular those of Colonel Sabine, I was espe- 
cially struck by the remarkable manner in which they agreed with 
my theory. I will cite but one example — the observations recently 
made at St Helena, and just published by Colonel Sabine. At St 
Helena, the diurnal variation occurs to the west, as long as the sun 
is to the south of the island, and to the east, as soon as the sun is 
to the north. In fact, in the first case, as I have previously 
observed, St Helena must form part of the region in which the 
electric currents proceed on the surface of the earth from the north 
pole to the equatorial regions ; and, in the second case, it forms 
part of the region in which these currents pass from the south pole 
to the equator. The hour of the maximum of the diurnal variation 
is not the same at the island of St Helena as in the continental 
countries, which is owing to the temperature of the surface of the 
ocean not following the same laws in its diurnal variations as the 
temperature of the surface of the earth. Now, the temperature of 
the lower stratum of the atmospheric column is always that of the 
surface of the ocean, or of the soil on which it rests. This circum- 
stance explains certain apparent anomalies exhibited by the diurnal 
variations in some parts of the globe ; as for instance, at the Cape 
of Good Hope, which is surrounded almost on every side by a vast 
extent of ocean. 

I wish it to be understood that in the preceding I have only taken 
notice of the causes disturbing the direction of the magnetic needle, 
and not of the cause of this direction itself; that is to say, of terres- 
trial magnetism — a cause which I do not at all believe to be of the 
same nature, but upon which I at present express no opinion. I 
am content to consider the terrestrial globe as a large spherical 
magnet, and to study the external causes capable of modifying the 
direction which it tends to impart, in its quality of magnet, to mag- 
netic needles. 

Now, what is the aurora borealis, according to the theory which I 

have just expounded ? It is the luminous effect of electric currents 

travelling in the high regions of the atmosphere towards the north 

%ole. an effect due to the combination of certain conditions which 

152 Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle. 

are not always exhibited in the same manner, nor at all seasons of 
the year. 

It is now well proved that the aurora borealis is an atmospheric 
phenomenon, as we long ago suspected. The name of magnetic 
storm, by which Von Humboldt designates it in his Cosmos, implies 
the same idea, which is moreover confirmed by the interesting de- 
tails which he gives of this meteor. The observations of Parry, 
Franklin, and especially those of MM. Bravais and Lottin, so nu- 
merous and carefully made, are likewise quite favourable to this 
opinion, which followed equally from the observations of M. Biot 
at the Shetland Isles. 

Admitting this point, I explain the production of the aurora 
borealis in the following manner : — When the sun having passed 
into the northern hemisphere, no longer heats so much our hemi- 
sphere, the aqueous vapours which have accumulated during the sum- 
mer in this part of the atmosphere begin to condense; the kind of 
humid cap enveloping the polar regions extends more and more, and 
facilitates the passage of the electricity accumulated in the upper por- 
tions of the air. But in these elevated regions and especially at this 
period of the year, the aqueous vapours must most frequently pass 
into the state of minute particles of ice or snow floating in the air, 
similar to those which give rise to the halos; they form, as it were, 
a kind of semi-transparent mist. Now these half- frozen fogs con- 
duct the electricity to the surface of the earth near the pole, and are 
at the same time illumined by these currents or electric discharges. 
In fact, all observers agree in asserting that the aurora borealis is 
constantly preceded by a mist which rises from the pole, and the 
margins of which, less dense than the remainder, are coloured the 
first ; and indeed it is very frequent near the pole in the winter 
months, and especially in those where there is abundance of vapour 
in the air. For it to be visible at great distances from the pole, it 
is necessary that these clouds, composed of frozen particles, extend 
in an almost uninterrupted manner from the polar regions to some- 
what southern latitudes, which must be of rare occurrence. These 
same clouds, when they are partial, which is frequently the case, 
produce the halos. 

Now the analogy pointed out by nearly all observers between the 
mists which accompany the aurora borealis and those which produce 
the halos, is a somewhat remarkable circumstance. It is easy to 
verify by direct experiment the identity which exists between the 
light of the aurora borealis, and that obtained by passing a series 
of electric discharges into rarified air containing a large quantity of 
aqueous vapour, and especially through a very thin layer of snow, 
or a slight layer of hoar-frost deposited on the glass. I have ascer- 
tained that highly rarefied, but perfectly dry air, gives but a very 
faint light, and that in the experiment of the vacuum tube it is es-^j 

Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle. 153 

sentially the moisture adhering to the inner sides of the tube, which, 
by conducting the electric discharges, gives rise to the luminous 
effects. It will be conceived that the electric discharges transmitted 
by this kind of network of ice must, on becoming concentrated near 
the pole, produce there a far more brilliant light than they develop 
when they are distributed over a much greater extent. 

But why does the magnetic pole, and not the terrestrial pole, 
appear to be the cause of the phenomenon ? Here is my answer. 
Place the pole of a powerful electro-magnet beneath a large surface 
of mercury ; let this surface communicate with the negative pole of a 
powerful battery ; bring near to it the point of a piece of charcoal 
communicating with the positive pole of the battery ; immediately the 
voltaic arc is formed, and the mercury is seen to become agitated 
above the electro-magnet; and wherever this is placed, luminous 
currents are observed to rotate around this pole, and throw out from 
time to time some very brilliant rays. There is always, as in the 
case of the aurora borealis, a dark portion in the form of a circular 
point over the pole of the magnet : this peculiar effect disappears 
without the voltaic light being interrupted when the electro-magnet 
ceases to be magnetised. With a continuous current of ordinary 
electricity arriving at the pole of a powerful electro-magnet in rare- 
fied and moist air, luminous effects, still more similar in appearance 
to those of the aurora borealis, are obtained. 

These phenomena result from the action of magnets on currents : 
now the same should apply to the action of the magnetic pole of the 
earth ; the neutralisation of the two electricities probably takes place 
over a somewhat large extent of the polar regions ; but the action 
of the magnetic pole causes the conducting mists to rotate around 
it, sending forth those brilliant rays which, by an effect of perspec- 
tive, appear to us to form the corona of the aurora. The sulphu- 
reous odour, and the noise which is said sometimes to accompany the 
appearance of the aurora, would not be inexplicable ; for the odour 
would be due, like that which accompanies lightning, to that modifi- 
cation which the passage of electric discharges produces upon the 
oxygen of the air, which M. Schonbein has called ozone ; while, as 
regards the noise, it would be analogous to that which, as I have 
shewn, the voltaic arc produces when it is under the influence of 
a very near magnet. If it seldom occurs in the case of the au- 
rora, it is owing to its being very rare that the luminous arch is 
sufficiently near the earth, and consequently to the pole. However, 
the description which has been given of this noise by those who have 
heard it, is perfectly identical with that which I have given, without 
suspecting the analogy, of the noise which the voltaic arc produces in 
the action of the magnetism. 

The magnetic disturbances which always accompany the appear- 
ance of an aurora borealis are now easily explained. This accidental 
union of a greater proportion of the accumulated electricities must 

15-4 Diurnal Variations of the Magnetic Needle. 

derange the normal action of the regular current; with respect to 
the directions of the disturbance, it will depend on the portion of the 
current acting upon the needle, and consequently upon circumstances 
impossible to foresee, since they depend on the extent of the pheno- 
menon, and the position of the needle in relation to it. In fact, 
according as the horizontal plane in which the declination needle 
moves, comprises above or below some of the region in which the 
greatest activity of the phenomenon takes place, it will be either the 
current circulating on the earth, or that travelling in the air (cur- 
rents which proceed in a contrary direction), which will act upon the 
needle : even during the same aurora, it may be sometimes one, some- 
times the other of these two currents which will act. The variable 
directions in which the needle is deflected during an aurora borealis 
agree very well with this explanation, at least as far as I have been 
able to judge from the different observations published in the An- 
nates de Chimie et de Physique, and in several scientific voyages. 
The remarkable effect observed by M. Matteucci in the apparatus of 
the electric telegraph between Ravenna and Pisa during the magni- 
ficent aurora of the 17th of last November, fully proves the exist- 
ence of a current circulating on the surface of the earth, and which, 
ascending the wire of the telegraph, passed in part through this 
better conductor. The sounds which long iron wires, strung in the 
direction of north to south, give out under certain meteorological cir- 
cumstances, are undoubtedly a proof that they are traversed by a 
current which is probably derived from the currents circulating on 
the surface of the earth from north to south in our hemisphere. 

It would be highly interesting and important to profit by those 
telegraphic wires, which are found to have a direction more or less 
approaching to that of the declination needle, in order to make with 
them, when they are not in use for ordinary purposes, some obser- 
vations which would enable us to demonstrate and to measure the 
electric currents which probably traverse them ; it would be easily 
accomplished by means of a multiplying galvanometer, by com- 
pleting the communication of these wires with the earth at one of 
their extremities. The comparison of the results obtained in this 
manner with these furnished by the simultaneous observation of the 
diurnal variations of the needle, would certainly present considerable 
interest, and might lead to meteorological results of a remarkable 

I cannot conclude this abstract without drawing attention to the 
circumstance, that M. Arago had already pointed out in 1820, 
shortly after (Ersted's discovery, the possibility of acting upon the 
voltaic arc by this magnet, and the analogy which might result 
between this phenomenon and that of the aurora borealis. 


Meteorological Phenomena in connection with the Climate of 
Berlin. Translated by Mrs Anne Ramsden Bennett 
from the German of Professor Dove. 

Attention has generally been awakened to atmospherical appear- 
ances, where the usual course of nature has been intercepted by 
striking meteorological phenomena. The cloudless serenity of a tro- 
pical sky, and the regular recurrence of periodical changes, attract 
little observation. The interest which meteorology excites is much 
more directly associated with uncertainty of weather. It would 
scarcely occur to any one here to begin a conversation with the re- 
mark, that the sun had really set at its appointed time ; and as little 
would it occur to any one in tropical climates to make the weather 
a subject of conversation. It is for this reason we possess so few 
meteorological observations on more favoured climates. How, in- 
deed, could it be expected any one should note down changes which 
regularly take place at certain periodical times. He alone feels 
prompted to such a course who finds himself transported out of the 
variable conditions of one atmospherical life into the untroubled re- 
gularity which distinguishes tropical regions ; and which appears to 
him in such striking contrast with the weather to which he has been 
accustomed, that he requires the confirmation afforded by meteoro- 
logical instruments before he can trust the immediate evidence of 
his senses. For this reason we so often acquire a more accurate 
knowledge of the peculiarities of a climate from travellers resident 
in it for only a short time, than we do from the partial accounts 
given us by its inhabitants. The only disadvantage which results 
from this is, that the lively imagination of strangers makes the con- 
trasts appear too striking; thus dwellers in the north see every- 
thing in the south through a rose-coloured medium ; and in like 
manner, we rarely forget, when reading Tacitus's description of 
Germany, that it is an Italian who is speaking of our native land. 

The uniformity which distinguishes tropical climates is denied 
to our latitudes. Europe has been called the April climate of the 
world; but this description applies in general only to those parts of 
it which, without being washed by the sea, are still not sufficiently 
distant from it to be entirely free from its influence. Where this is 
not the case, the temperature degenerates into sharp contrasts, and a 
glowing summer succeeds to an icy winter ; but when the influence of 
the sea preponderates, both seasons of the year lose their more marked 
characteristics. In Italy and the Canary Islands finer grapes are 
not to be found than grow in Astrachan, and yet in order to pro- 
tect these vines from the frosts during winter, they are sunk deep 
into the earth ; for even south of Astrachan, at Kitzlar, near the 
mouth of the Terek, the temperature in winter sinks as low as 36° 
Fahr. The difference between both extremes is so great, that on 
the steppes of Orenburg, the camel, the ship of the desert, and the 

156 Meteorological Phenomena in 

reindeer, the agile inhabitant of the mossy plains of Siberia, meet 
together. It is quite otherwise in England. In Ireland, which is 
situated in the same latitude as Koningsberg, the myrtle flourishes 
equally well as in Portugal ; it scarcely freezes in winter, and yet 
its climate will not ripen grapes. On the coast of the Lake of Kil- 
larney the arbutus grows wild ; in the island of Guernsey hortensias 
bloom in the open air ; and laurels grow in Cornwall, in the same 
latitude as Prague and Dresden. England is indebted to this 
equal distribution of a warm, moist temperature, for the soft ver- 
dure of her meadows, and the clear complexions of her population. 
11 Oh ye blooming youthful cheeks," exclaims Moritz ; "ye green 
meadows and ye clear streams of this happy land, how have ye en- 
chanted my heart ! Oh Richmond ! Richmond ! never shall I forget 
the evening, when, full of ecstasy, I rambled up and down on the 
flowery banks of the Thames. But all these delights shall not 
hinder me from returning again to those barren, sand-bestrewed 
fields, where my destiny has decreed that the little sphere of my ac- 
tive life should be situated." My readers will readily perceive, by 
the patriotic feeling which will have found its way into their breasts 
whilst listening to the closing words of Moritz, that he spoke of 
Berlin. If, however, I confess that the study of meteorology offers 
peculiar difficulties here, because, in addition to the constituent parts 
of the atmosphere, sand enters so largely as to form an essential in- 
gredient, and to stand a chance of becoming a meteor, I still assert, 
that it does not appear to me difficult to take delight in the ever- 
varying aspect of our skies, when we recal to mind the rigid coun- 
tenance of their eastern, and the melancholy severity of their western 
neighbours. Our atmosphere is certainly often obscured, but never 
to such a degree as in the dense fogs of London, in whose streets 
boys went about with flaming torches on the 24th May 1838, in 
order, as they said, to honour the Queen's birth-day with a brilliant 
illumination. Certainly it often rains with us, but never in such 
a way as is described in the burden of the song in " What you 

" With heigh ho ! for the wind and the rain, 
For the rain it raineth every day." 

Although Shakespere lays the scene of his play in Illyria, we see 
at once by these words, that the fool who sings them is a true Eng- 
lish fool, who had received his youthful impressions in a country 
where, in reply to the impatient inquiry of the traveller, '* Does it 
always rain in Bristol?" the satisfactory answer was given. "No! 
it snows betwcen-whiles." What a continual succession of sunshine 
and rain, on the contrary, with us ! What frequent returns of cold 
after the warmth seems to have set in ! As our poet says : — 
u The sunshine heguilos 

With its mild, false smiles, 

And even the swallow lies, 

For alone he hither flies." 

Connection ivith the Climate of Berlin. 157 

But with this circumstance there is a question connected, which 
affects us closely. It is this, Can we hope to discover a stationary 
point amidst this eternal change ? Is there, in the closely-associated 
chain of causes and effects, any prospect of our being able to dis- 
tinguish between the settled and the variable ? Our older meteoro- 
logists thought so ; for they described the temperature of a place by 
giving the highest degree of its observed warmth and cold. They 
were of the opinion that nature does not lawlessly deviate from cer- 
tain rules, and that she remains conscientiously between the two ex- 
tremes which limit her regularity. And they were right ; for at a 
moderate depth below the surface of the earth we find that invari- 
able degree of warmth which we fix upon as the mean tempera- 
ture of the place of observation. Thus, at the depth of 30 inches, 
there is no difference between day and night ; at 30 to 35 feet the 
difference between summer and winter disappears. So slowly, in- 
deed, does the warmth of the atmosphere penetrate into the soil, 
that at the depth of 3 feet the warmest day is the 22d of August ; 
at 6 feet, the 30th of August ; at 12 feet, the 9th of October ; and 
at 24 feet, the 15th of December, whilst at that depth the greatest 
cold falls here on the 13th of June. Springs which rise from this 
depth preserve the same temperature all the year through ; thus the 
one on the road from Potsdam to Templin stands at 50° F. the 
same as that of the Lomsenbrunnen at Berlin. How surprised the 
skater must be, when he finds the places where the springs rise in 
the ponds are not frozen over in winter, though they are the very 
spots which he had avoided in summer, whilst bathing, on account 
of their cold. So little power has the stratum in which the life of 
the earth pulsates in higher latitudes, that the ground which still 
bears on its surface woods of pine and fir trees, is, even during the 
summer, frozen so hard at a very moderate depth, that in the year 
1821 on Menzikoff's grave being opened at Beresoff, the lines of 
sorrow might still be traced on the features of the banished exile, 
whose heart had ceased to beat for more than a century. 

If we can imagine this variable stratum removed from the earth, 
we should obtain on the new surface the simple representation of a 
climate of mean temperature; of that temperature which every place 
would shew if its thermometer stood always at the same height. 
In this way we should find that in Berlin it would stand every day 
at 48°*875 Fahr. that in Hindostan there are places where the mean 
temperature would be 81°'5 Fahr. ; that Parry, on the contrary, 
would fix his winter quarters in a place where the mean temperature 
would sink to — 2° Fahr., or 34° below the freezing point. This varia- 
tion, however, does not entirely depend on distances from the pole, for 
places situated in the same degree of latitude are much warmer on the 
western than on eastern coasts. Scotland, Denmark, and Poland, 
have climates of equal warmth. Ireland, England, Belgium, and 
Hungary, enjoy the mean temperature which would characterise a 
Naples lying on the east coast of Asia. In America we find the 

158 Meteorological Phenomena in 

climate of Naples in the latitude of Morocco. Canada, which lies 
south of Paris, has the temperature of Drontheim in Norway. Height 
above the level of the sea occasions a diminution in the temperature, 
and therefore Germany has in general a very equal temperature ; 
the greater height of the land in southern Germany compensating 
for the difference of latitude. Munich and Berlin shew a remark- 
able harmony in the barren uniformity of the country which surrounds 
them, as well as in the mean temperature which, without any detri- 
ment to either, might be somewhat higher. 

But results such as these are not the final ones which we have to 
seek. They may indeed suffice for Troglodytes who live in cellars 
and caves, but not for us who breathe the pure fresh air. We must 
find some means of getting back from this abstract uniformity to the 
animated reality of atmospherical phenomena. We only arrive at 
it, however, when we have attained to the consciousness, that in what 
is apparently arbitrary, a law is concealed ; that the language in which 
nature herself speaks to us though the thunder and the lightning is 
a reasonable one ; and that even the flaming flash of the lightning 
with which she writes in the night-season is capable of interpreta- 

We live on the bed of a sea whose waves roll over our heads with- 
out our being able to rise above their surface. This aerial ocean 
was named by the Greeks the atmosphere ; that is to say, a globe of 
moisture. Whilst our perceptions take in all its constitutent ele- 
ments, the Greeks thought of that one alone, the deficency of which 
destroys all animal and vegetable life, and whose enlivening in- 
fluence the Bedouin Arab recognises when he reaches the edge of 
the desert, and though still far from the stream, perceives the air 
becoming moist, and stretching out his hands towards it exclaims 
with joy, " I taste the Nile." 

Steam has become of such essential importance to our life, that I 
ought to presuppose every one to be acquainted with this miracu- 
lous child of dissimilar parents, — this son of water and of fire. But 
of those who so often use the word steam-engine how few there are 
who really think of the oldest of them all, the atmosphere. All the 
water which either falls in soft spring showers, or rushes down in 
storms, has been raised by the atmosphere in the form of steam 
generated by heat. The mill which is driven by the mountain 
stream is also a steam-mill, only that the sun kindly undertakes to 
produce the heat which continually guides anew the circulation of the 
water. The steam of water is a perfectly transparent elastic fluid ; 
clouds, mists, and vapours, are not steam, but condensed moisture, 
which has returned from the aerial into the liquid form. If we 
observe a locomotive, when conscious of its power it raises the valve, 
and contemptuously casts off the superfluity, with which electro-mag- 
netism might win its promised prize; at the place where the steam 
issues forth it is perfectly transparent, the white cloud only appears 
when it has risen to some little height. Air mixed with this transparent 

connection ivith the Climate of Berlin. 159 

steam is called a moist air, air mixed with condensed steam is termed 
a cloudy atmosphere. Both may be distinguished from each other, 
just as our breath in a warm room is distinguished from the clouds 
which form before our mouths in winter, but which we do not ex- 
hale as clouds. Water mixed with spirits of wine produces a trans- 
parent mixture, because both are fluids. Air, however, mixed with 
opaque solid or fluid bodies, produces an opaque mixture which becomes 
more opaque in proportion as the mixture is more entire. Thus snow 
may be formed out of comminuted ice; white sand out of pounded rock- 
crystal ; foam, mist, vapour, or whatever we like to call it, out of water. 
We look upon clouds habitually as on something really existing, as 
a kind of magazine in which rain, snow, and hail, are stored up ; bodies 
which, when they come into contact with one another, produce thun- 
der; which are attracted by mountains and torn asunder by their 
rocky teeth, when out of the breach thus formed water streams 
forth ; and what is most remarkable of all, we think of these clouds as 
floating with all their heavy contents in the air. If, however, we 
only get amongst the clouds on the top of a mountain we find that 
they consist of nothing but common mist, and that of all the magni- 
ficence we had attributed to them not a trace remains. We might 
have spared ourselves the trouble of ascending so high to discover 
this, for a cloud is nothing more than a mist above, and a mist is 
nothing more than a cloud below. Any one that has been accus- 
tomed to think of a cloud as of something tangible and lasting, of 
which he can take a photography ; or, if he has the talent for it, make 
out in it resemblances to the forms of men and animals, must be 
aware how often he is obliged to change his comparison. It may be 
said, however, that we often see a cloud lying all day long on the top of 
a mountain. Does not Mount Pilate take his name from the very 
circumstance that he alway wears a cap % Is not the Table Moun- 
tain at the Cape celebrated for it ? Who, however, that sees the white 
foam lying on a clear mountain stream, looked down upon from a hill, 
believes it to be anything lying on the ground ? And is the cloud lying 
on the top of a mountain, anything more than this ? The stream is 
the air, the stone on which the foam rests is the mountain, the foam 
is the cloud. Does it not move continually if we ascend the moun- 
tain in order to see if it really lies quietly upon it, as it seems to do 
when we look up at it from below ? The appearance of stability is there- 
fore nothing but a delusion, the cloud endures only whilst arising, 
and in the act of vanishing. Do we find the plains of Lombardy 
covered with the clouds which are attracted down from the St 
Gothard in quick succession into the valley of Trevola ? No ! they 
have entirely disappeared from the hot plains, and the cloudless 
heaven above them forms a strange contrast to the thick covering 
which, whenever we look back, conceals the Alps from our view. Do 
we not often see a storm, which, with the intention of raining in 
good earnest, comes down from the Charlotten Berg, entirely dissi- 

160 Meteorological Phenomena in 

pated when it arrives over the glowing city. If, on the contrary, 
the atmosphere is very moist, already the absorption does not take place 
— a long strip of cloud leans down from the top of the mountain, where 
its first germ had formed itself, and the rain pours down. If the 
air has lost its absorbing power, it will soon become saturated with 
water. This is what takes place before a shower, and it is for this 
reason they say in the Bernese Oberland, 

" Does the Riesen his rapier wear ? 
Then it shews that rain is near ; 
Is his cap upon his head ? 
Then that shews the rain has fled." 

But these rules are only applicable to mountains whose points rise 
boldly into the higher regions of the air, not to lesser heights on 
our own German plains. If the moisture be already great enough 
for it to take the form of clouds, then it will soon shew itself in the 
shape of rain, and therefore they say in Thuringia of the Kyff hauser, 

" Has Frederick cast his crown away, 
The weather will be fine to-day ; 
If on his head his crown is set, 
The weather soon will change to wet." 

"The mountains are heaving, the Bohemian mists are coming; it 
will rain," they say in the Hazy Mountains. " The Zoblen is clear; 
it will continue fine weather," they say in Silesia : and in England 
the proverb is, 

" When the clouds are on the hills, 
They will come down by the rills." 

In winter, clouds often conceal the dome of the GensdVrmes Tower ; 
in. summer storms pass over the dark Aachorn, the Jungfrau, and 
Mont Blanc. But what a difference there is between the fine drops 
of winter rain, and the large splashes of a summer shower. If, 
however, we ascend a mountain during this splashing rain, we shall 
find that the higher we ascend the smaller the drops become ; higher 
still we shall find only a mist ; at that height it is no more the cloud 
which rains, but the whole stratum of air between the cloud and the 
ground. This is so true, that upon the roof of the King's castle in 
this place, only 18 inches of rain fall annually, whilst 20 inches 
fall on the pavement of the castle-yard ; for a continually renewed 
condensation of the mist of water takes place, and meeting with the 
rain drops in their descent, makes them continually increase in size. 
This applies equally to snow and hail, which do not therefore pro- 
duce the destruction which we should expect from the size of the 
grains if they fell down from a considerable height. If a crow, for 
example, were to slip down the steep roof of a church at the begin- 
ning of a thaw, the descending snowball would become at last a little 
avalanche. But did the crow cast it down ; those must believe so 
who ascribe the rain to clouds alone. 

connection with the Climate of Berlin. 1()I 

But how do clouds of snow and rain originate over our plains, 
which are situated far from the cooling summits of the mountains ? 

A celebrated amateur gathered together a large assembly in the 
council-hall of a northern residence. It was one of those icy star- 
bright nights which are so aptly called iron nights in Sweden. In 
the saloon, however, there was a fearful crowd, and the heat was so 
great that several ladies fainted in consequence. An officer tried to end 
this distressing state of things by attempting to open a window. But 
it was impossible, so fast it was frozen to the window cill. Like a 
second Alexander he cut the Gordian knot by breaking a pane of 
glass, and now, what happened ? It snowed in the room. Circum- 
stances so favourable as these seldom present themselves for obser- 
vation here. But I have, even in Berlin, seen a thick mist, form 
itself at a private ball, when, on one occasion, the doors opening 
upon the balcony were thrown open for a moment. Thus, wherever 
warm air becomes mixed with cold and moist air, a precipitation 
takes place. This is the reason why an eternal mist overclouds the 
sea of Okotsk, where the warmth so sensibly declines towards the 
north, that, on the same neck of land, shapeless sea-horses, the in- 
habitants of the polar seas, and elegant certhiadse, the feathered mes- 
sengers of the south, meet together. It is the same phenomena on 
a smaller scale which one sees at St Petersburg, at the magnificent 
festivals given in the winter palace, when a continual condensation 
is always taking place in the outer apartments. In order, therefore, 
to understand our weather, we must seek out the principles on which 
such mixture of unequally warmed air takes place ; but to do this 
I must somewhat enlarge, whilst choosing for my guides two of the 
learned men of the present day, about whom geology, geography, 
and meteorology dispute as their heroes, each of the three sciences 
wishing to claim the two philosophers for itself. 

If we open a door leading from an outer passage into a warm 
room, a double draught of air takes place, the cold air streaming in 
below, and the warm air flowing out above. This may easily be 
proved by the flame of a candle. Placed on the ground it is wafted 
towards the room, held half-way up it stands upright, above it is 
wafted towards the outer air. On the earth the polar regions repre- 
sent the outer passage, and the torrid zone represents the warm 
chamber. There are two cold zones and one torrid, that is to say, 
a warm room between two cold passages, the doors between the two 
are always open, the room is always heated to a very high tempera- 
ture, and there is a constant draught of air, which is called the 
" trade-winds." "Where both currents of air meet, is a region of 
calms, and it is so named. As, however, the apparent course of the 
sun varies between the tropics, the region of calms does not always 
remain in the same place, but follows the sun, and the whole pheno- 
mena of trade-winds follow in its train. Where the trade-winds pre- 
vail, the sky is perfectly cloudless, because flowing towards warmer 


162 Professor Blum on Pseudomorphic Minerals. 

regions, the air naturally becomes drier ; in the region of calms, 
on the contrary, it rains constantly, because the lower warm currents 
in the act of rising lose some of their heats and therefore allow the 
moisture they contain to be precipitated. Every place between the 
tropics has therefore a dry season whilst under the influence of the 
trade-winds, and a rainy season while the calms prevail, — " a time of 
sun and a time of cloud," as the Indians near the Orinoco say. In 
the higher regions of the atmosphere, the ascending air flows back 
towards the poles. We see it often in the light clouds which are 
attracted towards the lower trade-winds ; yes, we even reach this 
upper opposing current when we ascend high mountains, such as the 
Peak of Teneriffe, on Mawnaroa, on the island of Hawaia. More 
strongly still is the influence of this returning upper current seen 
in volcanic eruptions. 

(To be continued in our next Number.) 

Gieseckite and Bergmannite (Spreustein), two Pseudomor- 
phoses of Transformation from Nepheline. By Professor 
J. It. Blum, of Heidelberg. Communicated by the Author, 
from Poggendorff. 

At Jyalikko-Fiord, not far from Julianenhaab in Greenland, 
there occurs, implanted in drift porphyry, a mineral in the 
form of hexagonal prisms, generally known by the name of 
Gieseckite. From the similarity of its form, and for the 
most part amorphous condition of its mass, it was formerly 
regarded as a variety of Pinite, with which its chemical 
composition to a considerable extent coincides. It was 
afterwards grouped by Tamnau with Elaeolite (Nepheline), 
with which it has the same crystalline form, and is said to be, 
in its fresh condition, as regards hardness, specific gravity, 
and lustre, identical. But most of the crystals are found 
in an altered condition, and coincide neither with the qua- 
lities just mentioned, nor with the chemical composition 
of the Elaeolite. The cause of this is to be sought in the 
alteration which the Elaeolite has undergone. A short time 
since there came into my possession a crystal of this sort, 
which, upon my breaking off a small portion at one end, in 
order to observe the nature of its interior, was seen to con- 

Professor Blum on Pseudomorphic Minerals. 163 

sist entirely of a fine scaly aggregate of very minute mica- 
ceous lamellae. Thus Giesecke is neither more nor less than 
Elaeolite in process of transformation into mica, at one stage 
of which a condition resembling Pinite, I believe, occurs very 
frequently. The final result of the transformation is here 
likewise mica ; and with this view both the chemical compo- 
sition of the mineral, and the mode in which it is affected by 
the blowpipe and by acids, closely coincide. Whilst the 
Elaeolite fuses before the blowpipe, and under the action of 
acids dissolves and forms gelatine, Gieseckite is but slightly 
affected by the latter, and is likewise more difficult of fusion. 
If we compare the results of analysis, — that of the green 
Elaeolite of Fredericksvarn by Scheerer (a), with that of 
Gieseckite by Stromeyer (5), — the process of alteration be- 
comes very apparent. Their constituents are : — 



Silicic acid, 












Oxide of iron, 


Protoxide of iron, 








Oxide of manganese, 





According to these analyses, there must have been a loss of 
natron and an absorption of protoxide of iron and water, to- 
gether with a small quantity of magnesia and oxide of man- 

Under the name of Bergmannite or Spreustein, there has 
long been known a mineral which has been regarded by some 
mineralogists as a distinct species, and by others as a variety 
of Wernerite. It is not unfrequently found as a secondary 
constituent of zircon syenite in Norway, especially in the 
environs of Brevig, Laurvig, and Fredericksvarn. Scheerer, 
to whom the external appearance of the Spreustein seemed 
to indicate that it was not a variety of Wernerite, subjected 
it to an analysis of which the results are given (Annalen, 


Professor Blum on Pseudomorphic Minerals. 

vol. lxv., p. 277-8,^ and according to which it is a normal 
natronite (natron-mesotyp.) 

I lately received several pseudomorphoses from DrKrantz 
of Bonn, amongst which was a specimen labelled " Spreus- 
tein nach Beryll und Scapolith von Breveg." I could recog- 
nise no scapolitic form in the prismatic crystals of the 
spreustein, whilst, as hexagonal prisms, they appeared iden- 
tical with the forms of beryl. But as the occurrence of 
beryl in the zircon syenites of Norway is very far from 
ascertained; and as Scheerer (op. cit. p. 280) expressly ob- 
serves that all which he had met with belonged to the apa- 
tite ; and as, moreover, the origination of spreustein from 
this mineral appeared to me exceedingly doubtful, I carefully 
examined the specimens of this substance in my own collec- 
tion, in hopes that I might perhaps obtain some solution of 
my doubts. It was not long before I observed in a piece of 
ore a small hexagonal prism, which superficially had the ap- 
pearance of spreustein ; but at the end. where a portion was 
broken off, was perceived to be Elaeolite ; and eleolite ac- 
cordingly it was, from which the other mineral had borrowed 
its form. But in order to attain greater certainty upon this 
point, I imparted my views to Dr Krantz, with a request 
that he would be good enough again to look through his own 
specimens, and acquaint me with the result of his observa- 
tions. The following is an extract from Dr Krantz's answer : 
— " I have again examined my small collection of pseudo- 
morphous Spreusteins, and have come to the precise conclu- 
sion you anticipated, namely, that the hexagonal prisms were 
formerly not beryl but nepheline (Eloeolite). The small prism 
which you will herewith receive, and which is adherent to 
unaltered felspar (Orthoklas), with which it has nothing in 
common, consists, at the unaltered-looking greenish end, 
upon trial with the blowpipe, entirely of mesotype ; there is, 
therefore, nothing more of the original mineral remaining. 
The other and larger prism still contains at one end pure 
white nepheline, but farther in the interior Elseolite. It is 
remarkable that the nepheline appears here of such a pure 
wlii to colour as it has never been found with anywhere in 
Norway, The specimen establishes, I think, in a very satis- 

Professor Blum on Pseudomorphic Minerals. 165 

factory manner, that the pseudomorphoses were formerly 
Nepheline. Spreustein from Wernerite I have never met 

The alteration in these two cases commenced at the sur- 
face of the crystals, spreading from thence to the interior; 
and this process may he observed in various individuals, 
which are found in its most various stages. Whilst the 
above-mentioned small crystal is changed into spreustein 
merely at its surface, the large one mentioned by Dr Krantz 
(which is about H in. long by 1 in. in thickness, and is broken 
off at both ends) consists at one end entirely of an aggregate 
of red and white spreustein, but at the other still contains a 
nucleus of nepheline, surrounded by a crust of whitish-red 
spreustein of from one to two lines in thickness ; and other 
crystals, again, are entirely changed into the latter substance. 
Even crystalline particles of Elaeolite have undergone this 
change. The surrounding felspar (orthoklas) is for most 
part perfectly fresh, merely exhibiting here and there, at its 
points of contact with the Spreustein, a slight red colour, 
arising from oxide of iron, which has interpenetrated its 
cleavage surfaces. The process of transmutation itself con- 
sists in a loss of potash, in the emission of a small quantity 
of natron and alumine, and the absorption of water, whereby 
(Na, Ka) 2 Si + 2Al Si becomes Na Si + Al Si +2H. And 
this process occurred in a rock, which — although water was 
the agent — presents a perfectly fresh character. Nor will 
it ever occur to any one that the natrolite was here an ori- 
ginal formation, or that the water was originally present ; 
for the pseudomorphous nature of the spreustein crystals is 
too plain to be called in question. They are not genuine 
crystals ; for they consist of a mass of which the composition 
is confusedly radiated, (whence the name Spreustein given 
them by Werner) — of an aggregate, which sometimes even 
includes a nucleus of the original mineral. But if it must 
be admitted to be a transformation, then it is a transforma- 
tion that can have been effected only by means of water 
which has penetrated into the mineral, extracted and re- 
moved constituents of the Nepheline, partly deposited itself 
in their room, and formed mesotype ; for the phenomenon can- 

166 Mr R. Clausius on the 

not be explained by assuming either intense pressure or the 
original presence of water in the mineral. We have here 
also a beautiful example of the manner in which water, ope- 
rating upon inorganic bodies, calls into existence new crys- 
talline forms ; and we may perceive what a misapprehension 
it would be of this process, which plays such an important 
part in the formation of pseudomorphoses, were we to limit 
it to the originating of kaolins, clays, and other " mineral 
mires." Moreover, it would seem as if the Elseolite itself 
were nepheline in process of transformation ; at least this 
would appear to be indicated by the fluctuating amount of 
water which the mineral contains. Scheerer has observed of 
the green and brown Elaeolites of Fredericksvarn, that when 
these are finely pulverised and decomposed with concentrated 
muriatic acid, the resulting siliceous earth possesses the same 
colour, though in a fainter degree, which the mineral pos- 
sessed before, and that it disappears only on its being dis- 
solved in nitric acid, or by being brought to a glow ; where- 
upon he remarks : " This is quite sufficient to prove that the 
colour is of organic origin." — (Pogg. Ann., v. 49, p. 380.) But 
how can this organic colouring matter have found its way 
into the mineral unless by means of water ? Sure enough it 
was not there originally. — (Poggendorff's Annalen., bd. 87, 
si 2, 1852, No. 10.) 

On the Colours of a Jet of Steam and of the Atmosphere. 
By R. Clausius. 

To the Editors of the Philosophical Magazine and Journal. 

Gentlemen, — In the August Number of the Philosophical 
Magazine (p. 128) Mr Reuben Phillips describes a series of 
interesting experiments on the colours of a jet of steam, 
which connect themselves with the known experiments of 
Professor Forbes upon the same subject. At the end of his 
paper Mr Phillips writes — 

" Professor Forbes, after discovering the red colour of a jet 
of steam, by transmitted light, connected the red colour of the 
clouds willi this fact ; and the truth of this connection is be- 

Colours of a Jet of Steam. 167 

yond dispute. So far, however, as I have been able to go, 
the colours of the steam-jet are manifestly only influences of 
ordinary interference, greatly resembling that produced by 
thin transparent plates. Thus in (192) the transmitted light 
is red, as in Professor Forbes's experiments, but the re- 
flected light is blue. It is therefore to be inferred, that all 
the colours of the clouds originate in interference, caused by 
minute drops of water, the size of which determines their 
colour ; while the blue jet (192) is, I think, strictly analogous 
to the blue sky." 

With reference to this passage I permit myself to make 
the following remarks : — The blue colour of the firmament 
and the morning and evening red were explained by me in 
1849* upon the principles of " ordinary interference ;" and 
some time afterwardsf I applied the same explanation to the 
colours of a jet of steam observed by Professor Forbes. 

In one point, however, my view diverges from that of Mr 
Reuben Phillips. He names the water-particles which cause 
the interference " drops of water," while I believe that they 
are water- bladders, for which view I have adduced my rea- 
sons in a separate paper.J 

Besides this, I should like to mention two points, with re- 
gard to which I have been unable to obtain from the paper 
of Mr Phillips a clear notion of the author's opinion. 

(1.) Among the various colours of the atmosphere there 
appears to me to exist only two simple originating ones ; 
namely, the blue colour in all its shades, from dark blue to 
white, due to interference by reflection; and orange-red 
colour in the corresponding shades, due to interference by 
transmission. The other colours exhibited at times in va- 
rious portions of the heavens, as, for example, purple or green, 
I hold to be due to the mixing of the above two colours in 
their different shades. 

* Poggendorff's Annalen, vol. lxxvi., p. 188. 

t Die Licht Erscheinungen der Atmosphare, described and explained by R. 
Clausius. Leipzig, E. B. Schwickert, 1850. Also under the title Beitrage zur 
Meteorologische Optik, published by John Aug. Grunert. Part 1, No. 4, p. 395, 
and in Pogg. Ann., vol. Ixxxiv., p. 449. 

| Pogg. Ann., vol. lxxvi., p. 161. 

\C)8 Description of the Tongue and 

(2.) When clouds appear coloured, I believe that the colour 
exhibited is for the most part not formed in the cloud itself, 
inasmuch as the little bladders generally differ too much in 
thickness to cause the production of a single determinate 
colour ; but that the light, partly on its way to the cloud, and 
partly between the cloud and our eye, assumes its colour ; 
even in the apparently clear air there always exist bladders, 
which, however, are for the most part so attenuated, that they 
favour in a particular manner the formation of the first 
colours of interference, namely blue and orange-red. — I re- 
main, Gentlemen, very respectfully yours, 

R. Clausius. 

Berlin. Oct. 13, 1852. 

Description of the Tongue and Habits of the Aardvark 
or Ant-eater of the Cape {Orycteropus Capensis). By 
William T. Black, Assistant- Surgeon to the Forces, 
South Africa. Communicated by the Author. 

In Professor Jones' General Outline of the Animal King- 
dom, is to be found a description of the elongated tongue of 
the Ant-eaters of South America, and the Echidna of New 
Holland. The Aardvark (the Earth-hog, Dutch) and these 
two animals, belong to the order of Edentata, but the last is 
further distinguished by being monotrematous. Whether 
Professor Jones' description is intended to refer to the 
tongues of all the animals in that order that possess them as 
instruments of prehension does not appear, and it may be 
correct ; but from two or three specimens of the organ dis- 
sected by me in the Aardvark, I am led to doubt its applica- 
bility to this animal. Professor Jones speaks of two proper 
muscles not found in the tongues of other mammalia, an ex- 
ternal annular one, and an internal elongated spiral one, 
invested by the former. These I have been unable to detect 
in the tongue of the Cape Ant-eater, and I subjoin the fol- 
lowing description of my acquaintance witli its lingual ana- 
tomy : — 

Habits of the Ant-eater of the Cape. 


The tongue is from 10 to 12 inches long, when stretched 
out. The mucous membrane of its upper surface is rough 
and of a file-like feeling, when the finger is passed backwards 
along it. There are three papillse near the base, situated in 
the form of a triangle. On the outside, at about the posterior 
half, are the conjoined palato and stylo-glossus muscles, and 
internally to them, the lingualis, running from the base to the 
tip of the tongue ; and at the posterior fourth in the mesial 
line is the lingual attachment of the mylo-hyoglossus muscle. 
The lingual sensory nerve is very large, and lies in a groove 
between the mylo-hyoglossus and the lingualis, and after 
passing the former, the two nerves lie side by side in the 
mesial line between the two linguals. The muscular nerves 
branch off; the fifth enters the mylo-hyoglossus, gives branches 
to it, and then passes forwards alongside the lingual nerve. 
The muscle to which I would attribute the protruding action 

of the tongue, or the Extensor 
lingua, consists of perpendicular 
fibres passing from the thick 
mucous membrane of the upper 
surface and sides, to the cellular 
tissue investing the linguales 
muscles ; this occurs throughout 
the whole length of the tongue, 
and engrosses more and more of 
the comparative thickness of the 
tongue towards the point from 
the base. The best way of de- 
monstrating the course of its fibres, which are otherwise 
visible enough, is to incise the tongue either transversely or 
longitudinally, just through the thickness of the mucous 
membrane, and then tear open the incision. The laceration 
is easy, and goes in the direction of the fibres to their attach- 
ment at the upper surface of the lingualis. The contraction 
of this muscle, in all its body, will produce a contraction of 
the diameter or thickness of the tongue, and at the same time, 
from the consequent increase of the diameters of the sepa- 
rate muscular fasciculi, must the tongue elongate. It may 
be otherwise stated, if the mass of the tongue is decreased in 

1. The mucous coat. 

2. The perpendicular fibres. 

3. Nerves and vessels. 

4. Linguales and genio-hyoid. 

5. The palato-glossus. 

170 Description of the Tongue and 

one direction, it must correspondingly increase in another — 
like a bladder nearly full of water, which elongates in the 
direction lateral to the points of pressure. 

Should the mesial fibres of this perpendicular or transverse 
muscle be thrown into action, then the upper surface of the 
tongue would become flattened or hollowed out. The retrac- 
tion of the tongue is of course accomplished by the lingualis, 
and the other motions of the organ by the other muscles as 
ordinarily shewn. This action of the perpendicular fibres 
also renders the tongue, when projected at the same time, 
somewhat elastic and firmer, so as to allow of the stronger 
action of the others in bending it in different directions ; one 
or the other lingualis laterally, or both downwards, when the 
lower fibres of this muscle are thrown into action ; and when 
the upper fibres are in a similar state, the point of the tongue 
would be directed upwards. What share the muscles of the 
base of the organ particularly have in its motions, I do not 
enter upon, merely having considered the actions of the free 
part of the tongue. 

On section of the upper surface of the mucous membrane 
between the muscular fasciculi, appear yellow oblong ovoid 
bodies, about a line in length each, probably mucous glands, 
or, as I had not means of deciding this point, may be particles 
of fat, though not likely, as they only occur among the mus- 
cular fasciculi at the upper surface, and not at the lower ex- 
tremities of the fasciculi. When the perpendicular or 
radiating fibres are in action, the secretions from these glands 
would evidently be expressed out upon the surface of the 
tongue, thereby supplying the adhesive fluid which is the 
means employed by the ant-eater for the capture and reten- 
tion of its insect food. The specimen of the animal which 
I procured for the above dissection, was a female, had four 
teats, and was 6 feet 2 inches in length from the nose to the 
end of the tail. 

The next one which I dissected afforded the following 
description : — The mylo-hyoid muscle, or flat muscle next the 
skin ; — Qenio-hyoid of two bands, on each side of the mesial 
line between the chin and hyoid-bone ; — Genio-hyoglossus 
between the chin hyoid-bone and tongue, the lingual fibres 

Habits of the Ant-eater of the Cape. 171 

radiating upwards to the tongue ; the latter part is broader 
behind where it is attached to the root of the tongue, and 
terminates, conically forwards, to about the middle of its 
length ; — Palato-glossus, a large flat band on each side of the 
former, and, together with the lingualis, forms the lateral and 
inferior muscular of the tongue, from the root to the tip ; — 
Stylo-glossus, a small band of fibres, descending from the 
styloid process, perpendicularly to the root of the tongue, 
where it comes again forward on the outside, and parallel to 
the former muscle, and is finally lost at about one-third from 
the root, in the fibres of the palato-glossus and lingualis. 
Lying above this mass of muscle, composed of the palato, and 
stylo-glossus, and lingualis, which — after passing the anterior 
edge of the genio-hyoglossus, lie side by side, and form also 
the inferior half of the muscular mass of the tongue where it 
is free — is the perpendicular muscle already described, part 
of which, at the base of the tongue, is attached below to the 
lingual termination of the genio-hyoglossus. In the mesial 
line between the perpendicular fibres and the longitudinal 
ones, lie the nerves and vessels of the tongue. There is also 
a vein, running in the mesial line on the upper surface of the 
tongue, just underneath the mucous membrane, having trans- 
verse branches falling into it from the muscular substance 
and mucous coat. This specimen was also a female, had four 
teats, and was 5 feefc 4 inches in length from the nose to the 

In support of the views which I have been led to take of 
the powers of the perpendicular fibres, I may mention that a 
similar muscle exists in all mammiferous tongues which I have 
examined, and I believe is the co-efficient of all those peculiar 
movements connected with the protrusion of the tongue ; and 
that the other longitudinal muscles are connected with this 
act chiefly to guide the organ in different directions, as the 
sole and separate action of these latter muscles would be 
that of retracting the organ in one or other directions. Pro- 
trusion is, then, the province of the perpendicular muscles; 
retraction that of the longitudinal ones ; — different combina- 
tions of the two produce the several movements out of the 
axis of the tongue, whether the organ is in a state of protru- 

172 Description of the Tongue and 

sion or retraction. In the Lumbricus tines, or round intes- 
tinal worm, may be noticed fasciculi passing from the walls 
of the abdomen to the integument, and apparently firmly 
connected to each attachment. These transverse fasciculi 
seem to exist nearly the whole length of the animal, and to 
encircle the interior digestive tubes : each fibre is of toler- 
ably visible size, and pale in colour. As these fasciculi pass 
between the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity, and 
not from the walls of the proper intestinal canal, to the in- 
teguments, so each attachment is a fixed point, especially 
the interior one. That they are not glands may be inferred 
from their disconnection with the intestinal mucous mem- 
brane, though this point can only be strictly determined by 
the microscope. I have, however, by inspection and ana- 
logy, been led to hold that these fasciculi are muscular and 
perpendicular to the axis of the body of the animal, and to 
have a similar action to the perpendicular fibres in the 
tongue of the Cape Ant-eater. On the above supposition, that 
their action would be to elongate the animal, without, at the 
same time, compressing the contents of the digestive cavity, as 
the action of circular fibres would do in producing the same 
elongating effect. The digestive process would thus be in- 
terrupted by such a mode of progression, and defecation 
would otherwise only result, when the alleged circular fibres 
were thrown into action. If any effect of the cavity of the 
abdomen were produced by the perpendicular fibres, it 
would be to cause a tendency to a vacuum, both by the elon- 
gation of the animal, and also by the inner peritoneal walls 
being made the fixed point of action of these alleged muscu- 
lar fibres. Ingestion of food and fluids would be thus aided 
most considerably, and independently of any provision for 
such a purpose at the mouth. It would, however, require 
further research to see whether analogous muscles, having 
actions similar to those attributed to the perpendicular fibres 
in the tongue of the Aardvark, or the body of the round in- 
testinal worm can be found to bear out the above general 
interpretation of their actions ; but I presume that instances 
might be obtained to shew such a peculiar modification of 
muscular power, and make it a more general physiological 

Habits of the Ant-eater of the Cape. 173 

property — as in the arms of some of the Cephalopoda, the 
tongue of the chameleon, the trunk of the elephant, &c. &c. 

Habits of the Aardvarh. — This animal, inhabiting the 
Fish-River country, lives in immense holes, excavated by 
their powerful, hoof-like claws, in the ground, some six or 
ten feet below the surface. There are generally a collection 
of holes like a warren at these places, all intercommunica- 
ting, and situated in or about a clump of trees or bushes. 
The calibre of these passages is so large in some as to allow 
a man to creep into. The animal mostly comes out at night, 
but may sometimes be seen during the day. It is planti- 
grade on the hind feet, but digitigrade on the fore ones. The 
fore-feet have four toes, and the hind-feet five each, armed 
with strong hoof-like claws, very similar except in size to the 
arrangement of those of the mole, so as to enable the animal 
to dig and scrape away the earth sideways from them, and 
also crosswise, the inner toes being longer than the outer 

• The ponderous conical tail, 18 or 20 inches long, composed 
of bony joints, and a multitude of muscles, covered by an in- 
tegument as thick as an ox's hide, hangs ordinarily down, 
like that of the Cape sheep, when the animal is walking. 
Its structure is similar to the tail of the Cape iguana or 
large water-lizard and its use may be, in one point of view, 
similar, viz., as an instrument of defence from attack, as 
with it they strike dogs very forcibly that attack them. 
When surprised, they instantly make for their holes ; but as 
they cannot run fast, they are therefore soon caught by dogs, 
and easily shot or assegaied. When seized by dogs by their 
very soft ears, or by their velvety nose, they double in their 
heads between their fore legs, and strike forwards, or kick 
with their hind-feet, so as to make their assailants loose hold 
and often repent their proceedings. 

They are best caught in moonlight nights, when out feed- 
ing, either by dogs, or waiting near a suspected warren till 
the animal returns before the break of day. They live chiefly 
on ants, and, as there are numbers of ant-hills all over the 
country, their food is ever at hand. They first dig away 
with their fore-feet, partly, as it were, sitting on their hind- 

174 Habits of the Ant-eater of the Cape. 

legs, supported by the tail, like the Cape Redistes or jerboa, 
a large hole at the base of the anthill, and, no doubt, when 
made sufficiently large, they lie down and thrust their nose 
in, which is protected from stinging by its velvety hair, 
when they ascertain the neighbourhood of their game. They 
then protrude their long, tapering tongue, well covered with 
secretions through their toothless gums, which, when well 
covered with ants, is retracted, and the burden disposed of 
in the mouth for mastication. The mouth is abundantly 
supplied with mucous glands under its covering membrane, 
and the sublingual glands are large and open, with many se- 
cretory ducts, to pour out an abundant lubricating secretion. 
From the want of both incisor and canine teeth, the bite of the 
animal is harmless, and besides, the orifice of the mouth is not 
much larger than suffices for a tongue-load of ants. By means 
of the flat grinders on each side, this minute kind of scaly food 
is ground into paste, and made fit for digestion. In exca- 
vating its habitation, no doubt, the very great muscular 
power of its hinder extremities come into action, and shovel- 
ling away, like a spade, the earth loosened by the fore- 
feet, the two extremities act the part of a pick and lever. 
From its beautiful buck-like ears, one would suppose its 
sense of hearing was exquisite, and perhaps of much more 
use to the animal than its small, laterally-directed eyes, 
especially for its nocturnal and subterranean habits of life. 
Its hide is as thick as that of an ox, impenetrable, no doubt, 
to all attacks from insects, and has much the appearance of 
a pigs skin, but thicker, and has the same intimate con- 
nection with the underlying muscular structure as in the 
latter animal, so that the natives, when they slaughter the 
Aardvark for food, cut it up into pieces with the skin on, as 
we do pork. 

Dimensions of the Female killed near Fort Brown, whose 
oval dissection is above given. — Length, 5 feet 4 inches from 
the nose to the tail end ; nose to the root of the ear, 11 in. ; 
ear to the wrist or carpus, 14£ in. ; ankle (tarsus) to the 
protuberance of the hip-joint, 15 in. ; length of the tail, 18J 
in. ; leg, from the ankle to the spine, over the protuberance 
of the trochanter, 21 in. ; arm, from the wrist over the shoul- 

On the Negroes of the Indian Archipelago. 175 

der to the spine, 18 in. ; round the belly, just in front of the 
thigh, 3 feet 3 in.; round the thorax, behind the shoulders, 
2 feet 6 in. ; round the neck, behind the ears, 15J in. 

p.S. — I have sent two entire skins to the museum at Fort 
Pitt, which were forwarded, with other specimens, after the 
breaking out of this war, and which have all since been ac- 

W. T. B. 

The Negroes of the Indian Archipelago and Pacific Islands. 
By W. John Crawfurd, Esq., F.R.S. 

Oriental negroes are found thinly but widely scattered, 
from the Andaman islands, in about 80° of E. longitude, to 
the New Hebrides in the Pacific, in about 175° E. longitude, 
and from the Philippine islands, in 18° N. latitude, to New 
Caledonia, in about 21° S. latitude. These eastern negroes 
are known to Europeans under various names. The Malays 
term the inhabitants of New Guinea, Papua, or more cor- 
rectly Pua-pua. Europeans taking this as an authority, call 
New Guinea and its inhabitants both Papua. 

The w T ord pua-pua is an adjective, and signifies crisp, 
frizzled, woolly. To complete the sense for the country or 
people, it is necessary to state the nouns-substantive, tanah 
= country, and oran = people. Thus oran pua-pua = a woolly 
headed man ; and tanah oran pua-pua = the land of woolly- 
headed men. 

European writers have also sometimes termed them Alfores, 
which word has been converted by English and French 
writers into Arafura and Harafura, and referred to a Malay 
source. It is not, however, Malay, because the letter / is 
not to be found in any written language of the Indian Archi- 
pelago, and seldom does the sound occur in any of the un- 
written ones. The word is Portuguese, and means freedman, 
in which sense it is adopted by the natives of the country. 
It is nearly equivalent to the Indios bravos of the Spaniards, 

176 W. J. Crawford, Esq., on the Xeyroes of the 

as they term the free unsubjugated Indians of Spanish 

Spanish writers term the negroes of the Philippine islands, 
from their diminutive size, Negritos, or little negroes. Some 
English writers have lately termed them Austral negroes, 
which is manifestly improper, since they are found equally in 
the northern as in the southern hemisphere ; and this even 
in the islands of the Indian Archipelago. 

The oriental negro is even found in a state of civilisation 
below that of the brown-complexioned and lank-haired race 
in their neighbourhood, whether these be Malayan or Poly- 
nesian. There is great diversity in their civilisation ; some, 
with the least possible knowledge of the commonest arts of 
life, live precariously on the spontaneous produce of their 
forests and waters, both animal and vegetable ; while others 
practise a rude husbandry, construct boats, and undertake 
coasting voyages for the fishing of the tortoise and tripang, 
or holotlmrian. 

The negro of the Andaman islands is below five feet in 
stature, and is of the lowest civilisation. The negro of the 
northern portion of the Malay peninsula is also of short sta- 
ture. A full-grown male of average height was found to 
measure only four feet nine inches. The negro of the Phi- 
lippine islands, found chiefly on the large island of Lucon, is 
also diminutive. They dwell in the mountains, generally 
maintain their independence, and live in constant warfare 
with the Malays. 

There are no negroes in Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Cele- 
bes, nor is there any record or tradition of any. The great 
island of New Guinea is almost wholly peopled by negroes, 
who differ from each other, and more so from those distant 
tribes described as existing in the Andaman islands, in the 
northern parts of the Malay peninsula, and in Lucon. 

M. Modera, an officer of the Dutch navy, has described 
two negro tribes which exist on the west coast of New Guinea. 
After describing one of these tribes, he says, — " In the after- 
noon of the same day, at the time of high water, three of the 
naturalists went in a boat well armed to the same spot, where 
they found the tree full of natives of both sexes, who sprung 

Indian Archipelago and Pacific Islands. Ill 

from branch to branch with their weapons on their backs, 
like monkeys, making similar gestures, and screaming and 
laughing as in the morning. And no offers of presents could 
induce them to descend from the trees to renew the inter- 

The most singular physical character of the negro of New 
Guinea, consists in the texture of the hair of the head. It is 
neither that of the negro of Africa, nor seemingly that of the 
oriental negro, north of the equator. Mr Earl, who has seen 
most of the negro tribes of New Guinea, and who best de- 
scribes them, gives the following account of it : — '*' The most 
striking peculiarity of the oriental negro," says he, " consists 
in their frizzled or woolly hair. This, however, does not 
spread over the surface of the head, as is usual with the 
negroes of western Africa, but grows in small tufts, the 
hairs which form each tuft keeping separate from the rest, 
and twisting round each other, until, if allowed to grow, they 
form a spiral ringlet. Many of the tribes, especially those 
which occupy the interior parts of the islands, whose coasts 
are occupied by more civilised races, from whom cutting in- 
struments can be obtained, keep the hair closely cropped. 
The tufts then assume the form of little knobs, about the size 
of a large pea, giving the head a very singular appearance, 
which has not been inaptly compared to the head of an old 
worn-out shoe-brush. Others, again, more especially the 
natives of the south coast of New Guinea, and the islands of 
Torres Straits, troubled with such an obstinate description 
of hair, yet admiring the ringlets as a head-dress, cut them 
off, and twist them into matted skull caps, thus forming very 
compact wigs. But it is among the natives of the north coast 
of New Guinea, and of some of the adjacent islands of the 
Pacific, that the hair receives the greatest attention. These 
open out the ringlets by means of a bamboo comb, shaped 
like an eel-spear, with numerous prongs spreading out later- 
ally, which operation produces an enormous bushy head of 

* Mr Windsor Earl on the Papuan Indians. — (Journal of the Indian Arcki 
pelago, vol. iv., p. 1.) 


178 Negroes of the Indian Archipelago. 

hair, which has procured them the name of Mop-headed 

There are fifteen different varieties of oriental negroes, of 
eleven of which we have good descriptions. Some of them 
are feeble dwarfs under five feet, and others are powerful 
men. To include the whole under one category, is surely 
contrary to truth and nature. 

As far as language can be considered a test of race, and 
as the present state of our knowledge on the subject will 
enable us to judge, it goes to prove that all the tribes or 
nations of whose languages we possess examples, are sepa- 
rate and distinct from each other. I have compared the 
words of nine negro languages. Three of these consist of 
the few words of Mallicolo, Tanna, and New Caledonia, given 
by Foster in his Observations on Cook's Second Voyage, and 
six of fifty-five words of the Saman of the Malay peninsula, 
from my own collection, and those of the Gebe, Waigyn, 
New Guinea, and New Ireland, and Vanikoro, the scene of 
the wreck of La Perouse, from that of H. Gaimard. 

An examination of these comparative vocabularies corrects 
an error of very general acceptance, that the negro lan- 
guages contain no Malay words ; for each of the nine contains 
Malay words. The proportion of Malay words is consider- 
able in the languages of those tribes which are nearest to 
the Malays, and therefore most amenable to Malayan in- 
fluence, and diminishes in proportion to distance or other 
difficulty of communication. Excluding the numerals, which 
in most cases are Malayan, the proportion in a hundred 
words of the Saman is twelve ; in the Gebe about eight ; in 
the Waigyu above five; in the Doree Harbour of New Guinea, 
near four ; in the Port Carteret of New Ireland six ; and in 
the Vanikoro little more than three. The greater number 
of Malayan words in all these negro languages consist of 
nouns or names of physical objects, and none of them can be 
said to be essential to the grammatical structure. They are, 
in fact, substantially extrinsic. 

A comparison of the native words of the negro languages 
themselves shews that they agree in a very small number 
of cases, where the tribes speaking them are in the vicinity 

Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 179 

of each other ; thus several words are substantially the same 
in the Waigyu and in the New Guinea. This is, however, 
the exception, and the rule is a total disagreement. Thus, 
between the language of the negroes of the peninsula of 
New Guinea and of New Ireland, there is not one word alike. 
There is no evidence therefore to justify the conclusion that 
the oriental negro, wherever found, is of one and the same 



1. Analyses of Snow and Bain Water, by M. Eugene Mar- 
chand. — The snow and rain fell at Fecamp (France) in the months 
of March and April 1850. A kilogramme of water contained — 




sensible proportions. 



0017037 gr. 001143 gr. 



















Sulphuric acid, free or combined, 

Chloride of potassium, 

Chloride of sodium, .... 

Chloride of magnesium, 

Alkaline iodides and bromides, . 

Bicarbonate of ammonia, 

Nitrate of ammonia, .... 

Anhydrous sulphate of soda, 

Sulphate of magnesia, 

Sulphate of lime, .... 

Animalised organic matter, containing 

some iron and calcium, 
Pure water, ..... 

1000-000000 1000-00000 

The organic matter of the snow, deprived of fuliginous matters, 
afforded oxide of calcium, 0'008116 grammes; peroxide of iron, 
0000450; organic matter, 0-015280 = 0-023846.— {American 
Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xiv., No. 41, 2d Series, p. 263.) 

2. Notes on the Climate of Rangoon, by Dr Alexander Chris- 
tison, H.E.I.C.S. — During the last war, the troops stationed at 
Rangoon were attacked with an epidemic of rare occurrence, and were 
defectively supplied with ill-preserved provisions, which gave rise to 
scurvy. From these and other circumstances the climate was re- 
ported as very unhealthy ; but it now appears from recent informa- 
tion to be much more healthy than it has been represented to be. 

Fall of Rain. — At Moulmein, the annual average fall of rain re- 
ported is 150 inches. But late information from a gentleman who 

180 Scientific Intelligence — Meteorology. 

resided there several years, informs us that the annual fall never 
exceeded 90 inches. Dr Fayrer has ascertained that the total fall 
for the present year will scarcely exceed 80 inches, an amount which 
does not exceed the mean fall of rain at Arddarroch in Dumbarton- 
shire. In May, the fall of rain registered at Rangoon, in pluvio- 
meter, 1 1*79 inches; June, 1643 inches; July, 21*35; August, 
17 "07 inches. 

Temperature. — The minimum temperature observed at sunrise in 
May, was 73°; June, 74°*5 ; July, 74°; August, 75°. The maxi- 
mum at noon in May, was 96° ; June, 90 ; July, 88° ; August, 87° ; 
and at three p.m., in May, 95° ; June, 90 o, 5 ; July, 89° ; August 
88°* 5. At all periods the temperature and sense of heat are miti- 
gated after two o'clock, either by a sea-breeze, which springs up 
about that time in the dry season, or by thunder and rain, as the 
evenings succeed a forenoon of unusual heat. The moisture of the 
atmosphere is of course great during these months ; and often the 
difference of temperature between the dry and wet bulb thermome- 
ters is very trifling. — (Monthly Journal of Medical Science, Decem- 
ber 1852, p. 544.) 


3. On the Recent Earthquake felt at Adderley ; in a Letter to 
Robert Chambers, Esq., by Richard Corbett, Esq. — At half-past four 
o'clock this morning, (Nov. 7, 1852^ railway time, we were visited by 
a really smart shock of an earthquake. Our household consists of 
twenty-two persons, eighteen of whom were fully alive to it, and all 
more or less alarmed. Having myself felt a shock in this house, July 
1832, I was instantly aw r are of what was taking place. A rum- 
bling, heavy noise, which seems to have awakened many who were 
asleep, shortly preceded the shock — this was my case; the sensation 
was that of being rocked in the bed. 

From all that I can collect, it is my belief that the shock passed 
from west to east, and at present we have reason to suppose it was 
con fined to a very narrow line. Several of our villagers were much 
shaken and alarmed. The noise must have been considerable, as a 
very deaf person heard it, and resembled that made by a waggon 
going over pavement. 

The atmosphere was perfectly dead as described — not the slightest 
movement in the air, and very warm. On Friday last, we had a 
tremendous thunder-storm, and large pieces of ice. I could rather 
imagine that there is some peculiarity in our substrata here, for 
since 1775 or 1776 we have had three very complete shocks of earth- 
quake in this locality. We stand upon the edge of the lias, and 
there has been very near to us a most extensive subsidence, forming 
a valley of unknown depth between the face of the lias and that of 
the new red sandstone, which cross out at the distance of a mile and 
a-half from each other. The intermediate valley is filled with north- 
ern drift, in which I have bored ninety feet, still in the drift. 

Sc ten tific In te I ligen ce — Miner a logy . 



4. On Pseudomorphous Minerals. By our friend, Professor 
Sillem. — (Browns Jahrb., 1851,385.) — The- pseudomorphous 
forms described in this paper are — 

Forms imitated. Pseudomorphs. Forms imitated. 

Red copper ore. Scheelite, . . Wolfram. 

Red silver ore. Malachite, . . Copper pyrites, 

Red copper ore. Fahlerz, Calcite. 

Electric calamine, Blende, Psilome- 
lane, Fluorspar. 

Native copper, 
Silver glance, , 
Malachite, . . 
Azurite, , . 
Copper pyrites, 
Copper glance, , 
Horn silver, 
Brown iron ore, 
Wad, . . .. , 
Gypsum, . . 
Bitter spar, . 
Mica, . . . 
Talc, . . . 
Soapstone, . 

Galena, . . . 
White lead ore, 
Red and brown 
iron ore, . . 


Copper pyrites. 


Red iron ore. 



Leucite, Sodalite. 



Tourmaline, Acti- 
nolite, Scapolite, 
Kyanite, Stauro- 



Calcite, . 

Quartz, . 


Galena, . . 

Specular iron, 



Pyrites, . . 


Antimony blende, Antimonite. 

Magnetic iron, . Actinolite. 

Green earth, . Prehnite. 

Talc, .... Actinolite. 

Felspar, Pyrope 

Fluorspar, Calcite, 
Wolfram, Au- 
gite, Carbonate 
of lead, Corun- 
dum, Stiblite. 

Calcite, Magnetic 
iron, Brown ore. 







. Pyrites, Specular 
iron, Sphaerosi- 
Brown iron ore, Marcasite, Calcite, 

— (American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xiv., No. 41, 2d 

Series, p. 264.) 

5. Large Deposit of Graphite. — In Glen Strath, Farer, Inver- 
ness-shire, there is a great deposit of graphite in gneiss. A similar one 
occurs at St John's, New Brunswick ; near the new suspension bridge 
over the St John's river, a very extensive deposit of graphite has been 
opened and explored to a considerable extent. The vein, or bed, as it 
might more properly be called, is nearly vertical, and inclosed between 
beds of highly metamorphic schists. It is entered near the water, on 
the face of a precipitate cliff about 70 feet high, the walls of the 
lode being in the main parallel to the graphite deposit. This bed has 
been explored by a gallery or adit levtl over 100 feet, and by cross 
cuts, at right angles to this, some 20 or more feet. All these are in 
the graphite mass, and of course the floor and roof of the levels are 
of the same mineral. The quartzose walls have occasionally ap- 
proached, and, in some cases, masses of quartz or schist have been 
included in the graphite. The course of this deposit is about north- 
east and south-west, or nearly in the direction of the strike of the 
strata of the schist. The graphite is not of a very superior quality as a 
mass, though portions of it are quite pure. As yet no solid and per- 

182 Scientific Intelligence — Mineralogy. 

fectly homogeneous masses have been taken out. It has a foliated 
structure, more or less highly marked. Iron pyrites is too abundantly 
diffused in it to admit of its use for crucibles. The chief economical 
use made of it has been in facing the sand moulds for iron castings, 
for which purpose it is ground to a fine powder. Some of the finer 
parts are also used to manufacture pencils. Many hundred tons of 
graphite from this deposit have already been taken out since the 
mine was opened two years ago, and the supply may be esteemed 
inexhaustible. The vein or bed reappears on the opposite side of the 
St John's river, and on the side now opened it has been traced over 
a mile. The position of the deposit in conformable metamorphic 
schists, suggests the conjecture that this deposit of graphite may 
represent a former coal-bed. — {American Journal of Science and 
Arts, vol. xiv., No. 41, 2d Series, p. 280.) 

6. Sulphur Mine in Upper Egypt. — An extensive bed of sul- 
phur has been opened in Egypt, between the village of Keneh and 
the Red Sea, at the strait called Bahar el Sefinque. It is soon to 
be worked. — (Ann. des Mines (4), xviii. 541.) 

7. Strontiano-calcite, a New Species. — (Proc. Acad. N. Sci. 
Phil., vi. 114, June 1852.) — Crystallisation and cleavages like calc- 
spar : secondary form an acute rhombohedron of 65° 50'. Crystals 
minute ; occurs in globular masses, the globules terminating in this 
acute rhombohedron, H = 3*5 ; gr. undetermined. Colourless and 
transparent, or white and translucent, the former vitreous, the latter 
pearly in lustre. B.B., yields a brilliant light, a slightly crimson 
flame, and becomes caustic. The solution in acid gives a white pre- 
cipitate with sulphate of lime, but not with sulphate of strontia, and 
it therefore contains strontia. After precipitating the strontia in a 
portion of the solution, the addition of oxalate of ammonia produced 
a precipitate of oxalate of lime. The quantity was too small for a 
quantitative analysis ; but Dr Genth infers that the lime and strontia 
are in about equal proportions. 

The specimen was from Girgenti, Sicily, where it is of rare occur- 
rence, associated with celestine and sulphur. — (American Journal of 
Science and Arts, vol. xiv., 2d series, No. 41, p. 280.) 

8. Platinum and Iridosmine in California, by Dr F. A. Genth, 
(Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad., vi., 113). — A few steel-coloured 
rounded grains of platinum were observed among specimens of gold 
from the American Fork, California, 30 miles from Sacramento city. 
Iridosmine from the same locality occurs in lead-coloured scales. 
A collection of white grains from California, afforded, after separat- 
ing the platinum, six-sided scales of a colour between lead and tin- 
while, which, on heating on platinum foil, gave a strong odour of 
osmium, and wen; probably, therefore, the Sis ser skit e (Iv Os 4) ; 
when thus heated, the scales became irridescent and assumed yellow, 
'.ranu/-. and blue colours like steel. Dr Genth, on trying the Ural 

Scientific Intelligence — Geology. 183 

iridosmine, found that the lead- coloured scales afforded the same 
colours; and he suggests that this may he a good test for distinguish- 
ing the Sisserskite from the Neujanskite. He adds, that there are 
probably in nature only two distinct compounds of iridium and os- 
mium, viz., Ir Os 4, and Ir Os ; and the compound Ir Os 3, is 
probably a mixture of the two. — {American Journal of Science and 
Arts, vol. xiv., 2d series, No. 41, p. 277.) 

9. Identity of Donarium with Thorium. — Professor Damour 
and Professor Berlin of Lund, in Sweden, infer from their analyses 
that orangite is identical with thorite, and consequently donarium 
with thorium. Bergemann has, however, continued his researches, 
and while expressing himself with due caution, is not prepared to 
admit the conclusions of the French and Swedish chemists, so that 
some doubt may still be entertained upon the subject. — (Fogg. Ann. 
lxxxv. 555.) 

10. Native Iron.- — M. Bahr has described specimens of carbon- 
ised wood, associated with bog-ore from Smaoland, which afforded 
grains of malleable iron, having a specific gravity, 6248, 6*4972, 
and 6*6255, after hammering ; and he considers it as probably a 
result of deposition through some electric process, and not artificial 
in origin. He suggests for coal containing iron in this manner, if 
hereafter found, the name Sideroferite. — (The American Journal of 
Science and Arts, vol. xiv., No. 41, 2d Series, p. 275.) 

11. On Crystallisation and Amorphism ; by Prof. F. M. L. 
Frankenheim. — (I. f pr. Chem.,\iv. 430.) — Frankenheim reviews 
the subject of crystalline structure and amorphism at considerable 
length, and arrives at the conclusion, that although the structure of 
the intimate particles of so-called amorphous substances is not ac- 
tually proved to be crystalline by observation, it is still true that all 
the properties of substances so called are perfectly consistent with 
such a structure. 


12. Flora of the Tertiary Formation. — The flora of the tertiary 
formation has been hitherto, comparatively speaking, far less known 
than that of the coal formation, which is of a far older date ; and 
even in Silesia, notwithstanding its numerous and important deposits 
of brown coal, the entire amount of leaves, blossoms, and fruits be- 
longing to this formation, exclusive of stems of trees, did not exceed 
forty-three species up to the close of last year. 

Since then, however, a discovery has been made, which, in a few 
months, has already brought more treasures to light, than Monte 
Bolca in Italy, and the celebrated deposit of Oeningen in Germany, 
have done in a century. This new deposit was discovered by the 
Superior Councillor of Mines, Von Oeynhausen, near the end of 

18-4 Scientific Intelligence — Geology. 

January of this year, in the immediate neighbourhood of Breslau, 
at Schossnitz, near Kanth, on the railroad ; it is a bed of fossil 
plants in tertiary clay, and is unique in richness, variety, and ad- 
mirable preservation. From the end of January up to the beginning 
of March, there were already discovered no less than 130 species 
in about six hundredweight of clay ; and every fresh quantity ex- 
amined gives additional results. Dr Goppert has read a very in- 
teresting paper upon the results of the examination thus far made, 
before the Natural History Section of the Breslau Society. The 
clay is of a whitish colour ; the plants seldom preserve their origi- 
nal texture, but usually occur as impressions of a pale brown colour, 
in which, however, they are displayed with such precision, that even 
the delicate anthers of the catkins of the willow tribe are readily dis- 
tinguishable. These anthers, as well as those of the male catkins 
of the plane tribe, occasionally exhibit the pollen. With respect to 
the families and genera, it may be said that they agree, speaking in 
a general way, with those of the other local floras of the brown coal 
formation. The species are, however, for the most part different; 
only one species has been hitherto observed, Libocedrites salicor- 
nioides, that is met with in Silesia, in amber, and in the brown coal 
formation of other parts of Germany. Of the 130 species that have 
been found at Schossnitz up to the beginning of March, there are 
no less than 113 which are new. As a peculiarity in this tertiary 
flora, may be cited the considerable number of oaks, of which al- 
ready 25 varieties have been observed, whereas at present only 13 
are known to occur in Europe, and for the most part the species 
discovered belong to those with incised leaves. There are, more- 
over, no less than 17 varieties of elm, some unquestionable planes, 
and varieties of maple, perfectly distinct from any hitherto observed. 
The genera Daphnogene, Ceonanthus, Dombyayopsis, and Taxodium, 
have been also met with. It need hardly be observed, that our ac- 
quaintance with the riches of this recently-discovered deposit is as 
yet necessarily very imperfect. Palms, which are met with in other 
tertiary deposits in the immediate neighbourhood, have not thus far 
been found ; indeed, no monocotyledons have been observed, with 
the exception of a few leaves of grass. The origin of the deposit 
has been explained on the supposition that there existed here for- 
merly an inland lake, into which the leaves and blossoms of the trees 
that perished on its banks were carried by the wind, and became 
subsequently imbedded in the clayey mud. This recently-discovered 
deposit bears out the idea, that although the majority of the genera 
of the plants occurring in the tertiary formation are similar to those 
now met with in Europe, although the species are different, and 
agree rather with African forms than ours; yet that this formation, 
speaking generally, contains a flora distinct from that of the actual 
flora of the districts mentioned, and analogous rather to that of 
countries situated several degrees more to the south ; the flora of the 

Scientific Intelligence — Geology. 185 

deposit of Schossnitz answering, it will be seen, to that of the vege- 
tation of the southern portion of the United States, or to that of the 
north of Mexico. Professor Goppert purposes to lay the results of 
the examination of the Schossnitz deposit before the scientific public, 
as far as it has at present been made, in a separate work. — (American 
Journal of Science and Arts, vo). xiv., No. 41, 2d Series, p. 281.) 

13. On the Tides, Bed, and Coasts of the North Sea or German 
Ocean, by John Murray, Esq. — The author commenced his 
paper by remarking that great similarity of outline prevades the 
western shores of Ireland, Scotland, and Norway, and then observed 
that the great Atlantic flood-tide wav.e, having traversed the shores 
of the former countries, strikes with great fury the Norwegian coast 
between the Lafoden Isles and Stadtland, one portion proceeding to 
the north, while the other is deflected to the south, which last has 
scooped out along the coast, as far as the Sleeve, at the mouth of the 
Baltic, a long channel from 100 to 200 fathoms in depth, almost 
close in-shore, and varying from 50 to 100 miles in width. After 
describing his method of contouring and colouring the Admiralty 
chart of the North Sea, he traces the course of the tide-wave among 
the Orkney and Shetland Islands along the eastern shores of Scot- 
land and England to the Straits of Dover, and along the western 
shores of Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands, to the same 
point. He then remarks that the detritus arising from the con- 
tinued wasting away of nearly the whole line of the eastern coasts 
of Scotland and England, caused by the action of the flood-tide, is 
carried by it, and at the present day finds a resting-place in the 
North Sea ; and that this filling process is increased by the sand, 
shingle, and other matter brought through the Straits of Dover by 
the other branch of the Atlantic flood-tide. Hence, he remarks, the 
gradual shoaling of this sea, and the formation of its numerous sand- 
banks ; the silting up the mouth of the Rhine, the Meuse, and the 
Scheldt ; the formation of the numerous islands on the coast of 
Holland, that country itself, and much of Belgium ; the deposits at 
the mouth of the Baltic, the islands in the Cattegat, and indeed the 
whole country of Sleswig, Denmark, and Jutland. 

The author then takes a view of the tides, and their effects upon 
the Baltic and its shores before the course of the tide-wave was 
checked by these shoals and low lands. He considers that, previous 
to these great changes, the flood-tide entering the North Sea between 
Norway and Scotland, would make directly towards the German 
coast, and necessarily heap up the waters in the Baltic considerably 
above their present level, ~and that a great part of Finland, Russia, 
and Prussia, bordering upon that sea, would thus every twelve hours 
be under water, in the same way as the waters now rise in the Bay 
of Fundy, at Chepstow, and other places, much above their ordinary 
level in the open sea ; that the current outward, on the receding 


186 Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 

of the tide which these accumulated waters would occasion, com- 
bined with the rivers which fall into the Baltic, when checked by 
the following flood-tide, would cause deposits in the form of a bar 
tailing towards Sweden ; and that an increase to these deposits 
would form shoals, drifts, and islands, and eventually a long sand- 
bank in outline, like the country of Denmark. He further considers 
that the tide being by these means prevented from entering the 
Baltic, may account for the subsidence of the waters of the Gulf of 
Bothnia, better than can the upheaval of the northern part of Scan- 

The author then remarked that the great shoal of the North Sea is 
the Dogger Bank, and that its peculiar form is produced by the 
meeting of the cotidale waves, of which he traces the course. After 
bearing testimony to the value of the Admiralty chart of the southern 
portion of the North Sea, made under the direction of the late Cap- 
tain Hewitt, he reverted to the importance of contouring such maps, 
in order to obtain something* like a correct notion of the bottom of 
the sea ; and in conclusion expressed a hope that the Admiralty will 
be induced to continue the survey of the North Sea, so well begun 
by Captain Hewitt. 


14. On the Bones and Eggs of a Gigantic Bird in Madagascar. 
— M. Saint Hilaire has recently communicated a notice to the French 
Academy, of the existence, at Madagascar, of a gigantic bird, entirely 
new to the scientific world. The discovery [of the evidence] was 
made in 1850, by M. Abadie, captain of a merchantman. During 
a stay at Madagascar, he one day observed, in the hands of a native, 
a gigantic egg, which had been perforated at one of its extremities, 
and used for domestic purposes. The account which he received 
concerning it soon led to the discovery of a second egg^ of nearly 
the same size, which was found perfectly entire, in the bed of a tor- 
rent, among the debris of a landslip which had taken place a short 
time previously. Not long afterwards was discovered in alluvia of 
recent formation, a third egg, and some bones, no less gigantic, which 
were rightly considered as fossil, or rather, according to an expres- 
sion now generally adopted, as sub-fossil. These were all sent to 
Paris ; but one of the eggs was unluckily broken. The others ar- 
rived in safety, and M. Saint Hilaire has presented them to the 
Academy. These eggs differ from each other in form : one has its 
two ends very unequal ; the other approaches nearly to the form of 
an ellipsoid. 

The dimensions of the latter are : — Largest diameter 13| inches ; 
smallest diameter 8?, in. ; largest circumference, 33J in. ; smallest 
circumference, 28J in. The thickness of the shell is about the 
eighth of an inch. This great Madagascar egg would contain about 
seventeen English pints, and its gross volume is six times that of 

Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 187 

an ostrich-egg, and equal to 148 ordinary hen-eggs. To carry out 
the comparison still further, one of the eggs of the Madagascar bird 
would be equal in bulk to 50,000 eggs of the humming-bird. 

The first question to be decided was : Are these the eggs of a 
bird or of a , reptile ? The structure of the shell, which is strictly 
analogous to that of the eggs belonging to large birds with rudimen- 
tary wings, would have sufficed to determine the question ; but it 
has been completely set at rest by the nature of the bones which 
were sent with them. One of them is the inferior extremity of the 
great metatarsal bone of the left side ; the three-jointed apophyses 
exist, two of them being nearly perfect. Even a person unskilled 
in comparative anatomy cannot fail to see that these are the remains 
of a bird. 

M. Saint Hilaire assigns to this bird the generic name of JEpy- 
ornis, and to the species, Maximus. It cannot be classed with the 
Omithichnites on the one hand, or with the Ostrich and allied 
genera on the other, but it is the type of a new genus in the group 
of the liudipens, or Brevipens. Its height, according to the most 
careful calculations made by comparative anatomists, must have been 
about twelve English feet, or about two feet higher than the largest 
of the extinct birds (Dinornis) of New Zealand. According to the 
natives of the Sakalamas tribe, of Madagascar, this immense crea- 
ture, although extremely rare, still exists. In other parts of the 
island, however, no traces of belief in its present being can be found. 
But there is a very ancient and universally-received tradition 
amongst the natives, relative to a bird of colossal size, which used to 
slay a bull, and feed on the flesh. To this bird they assign the 
gigantic eggs lately found in their island. That this tradition is 
wholly a fable, is evident from the character of the bones found, 
which clearly shew that the bird in question had neither talons, nor 
wings adapted for flying, but must have fed principally on vegetable 

M. Saint Hilaire considers it very probable that the ^Epyornis 
has had an existence within the historic period, and that it has even 
been referred to by two French travellers at different times, viz., by 
M. Flucourt in 1758, and by another at a later period. These ac- 
counts have heretofore been regarded as wholly fabulous. It is not, 
however, improbable that the Eastern story of the. Roe, in the tale 
of Sinbad the Sailor, may have had its origin in a knowledge of the 
existence of the bird of Madagascar. It could not, as before ob- 
served, have possessed any of the ferocious characters ascribed to this 
fabled bird. A beautiful model of this gigantic egg was presented 
to the Museum of Natural History in the University of Edinburgh, 
by the Professors of the Garden of Plants in Paris. 

15. Domestication of Fishes. — In a memoir recently presented 
to the French Academy, M. Coste remarks, that having had his at- 

188 Scientific Intelligence — Miscellaneous. 

tent ion directed to the domestication of fishes, he selected the eel to 
experiment upon, both because its manner of generating is almost 
wholly unknown, and because its flesh is not only agreeable to the 
taste, but constitutes an article of food very favourable to health. 
In proof of this latter statement, the author mentions the inhabi- 
tants of a section of France, who live almost entirely upon eels, and 
who arc notoriously healthy. In describing the manner of genera- 
tion of eels, the author says — " Every year, in the month of March 
or April, there appear at the mouths of the rivers, just at nightfall, 
myriads of transparent filiform animalcules from six to seven centi- 
metres long, which raise themselves to the surface of the water in 
compact masses, and ascend the streams. These animalcules are 
nothing but newly hatched eels, leaving their birthplace to disperse 
themselves throughout the canals, lakes, and brooks, which com- 
municate with the rivers. " The quantity of these animalcules is 
sufficient to fill all the waters on the globe, and if transported to 
basins prepared to receive them, they would furnish an inex- 
haustible supply of food. 

" Pre-occupied with this idea, the author caused a quantity of 
those animalcules to be brought alive to the College of France, and 
placed in large wooden vats. The young eels were then from six to 
seven centimetres long, and one centimetre in circumference around 
the largest part of the body. After remaining seven months 
in the vat, they were twelve centimetres long, and two centimetres 
and two millimetres in circumference ; at the age of eighteen 
months, twenty-two centimetres long, four centimetres and eight 
millimetres in circumference ; at the age of twenty-eight, thirty- 
three centimetres long, and seven in circumference. Thus, though 
placed in very small basins, the eels grew from eight to ten centi- 
metres in length, and two and a half in circumference, every nine 


16. Freedom of the Arabs from Leprosy. — M. Guyon, in a 
note to the Academy of Sciences, Paris, attributes the absence of 
leprosy among the Arabs to their living under the direct action of 
light and air in tents, while the Kalzles, who often suffer from this 
disease, live in fixed dwellings, often more or less beneath the level 
of the earth's surface. — (L Institut, No. 965.) 

17. Obituary. — The Academy of Sciences in Stockholm has lost 
the oldest of its members in the person of M. Wilhelm Hisinger, the 
mineralogist, who has died at the age of eighty-six. 

to new arrangements in the Edinburgh Patent Office, we are obliged to 
delay our List of Patents until our April number of Journal. 




Biographical Account of the late William Macgillivray, 
A.M., LL.D., Regius Professor of Natural History in the 
Marischal College and University of Aberdeen. Com- 
municated by Alexander Thomson, Esq. of Banchory, 

This distinguished naturalist and most worthy man, died 
at Aberdeen on 5th September last, at the early age of 56. 

He was a native of Old Aberdeen, and studied and took 
the degree of A.M. in King's College and University. 

Like many of his countrymen, he had a hard struggle 
through life with the res angusta domi; and it is to his friends, 
a striking and a remarkable dispensation of Providence, that 
he has died just at the time when he had all but overcome 
the difficulties with which he had so long contended, and 
when he had the prospect before him of more usefulness and 
greater comfort than he ever had enjoyed before. He was 
enabled by his steady perseverance as a youth, to procure 
for himself a sound education ; and the same perseverance 
enabled him to build his future fame upon the foundation 
thus acquired. 

After passing through the usual undergraduate curricu- 
lum, he resolved to study medicine as a profession, and at- 
tended, withjthis view, the usual medical classes in Aber- 
deen, studying more especially under the late Dr Barclay, 
with whom he served a regular apprenticeship. He after- 

VOL. LIV". NO. CVI1I. — APIUL 1853. 

190 Biographical Account of the 

wards attended various classes in Edinburgh, but never took 
his degree of M.D. nor entered on the practice of his profes- 
sion ; the time, however, thus spent was by no means lost, 
for his anatomical and physiological studies proved of the 
greatest value to him in after life. 

From an early age, he shewed a decided taste for the study 
of Natural History in almost all its branches, and his love 
for it proved too enthusiastic to allow him to follow the me- 
dical profession as a means of support ; he availed himself of 
the first opportunity which presented itself to obtain a situa- 
tion where all his time and energy could be honestly given to 
his favourite pursuits. 

About the year 1823, he accordingly accepted the appoint- 
ment of " Assistant and Secretary to the Regius Professor 
of Natural History, and Regius Keeper of the Museum of 
the Edinburgh University," which he held until 1831, when 
he was named " Conservator of the Museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons in Edinburgh," and in this office he re- 
mained for about ten years, when he succeeded the late Dr 
Davidson as Professor of Natural History in the Marischal 
College and University of Aberdeen. 

Neither of the situations in Edinburgh was by any means 
lucrative, and he was obliged to add to his scanty emolu- 
ments by the occasional delivery of lectures, by furnishing 
papers to scientific journals, and by translating and editing; 
but though not lucrative, these situations were highly con- 
genial to his tastes; they furnished him with ample mate- 
rials for study, and brought him into friendly relationship 
with many of the naturalists, both of Scotland and England, 
at an early period of his life. 

He had singular qualifications as the Keeper of a Mu- 
seum. Nothing could exceed his care and patience in prepar- 
ing an object, except perhaps the delight with which he con- 
templated the result. His taste in displaying, and his neat- 
ness in arranging, were alike remarkable ; and both the valu- 
able Museums so long under his care were much indebted to 
his assiduous labours. 

In 1841, he was appointed by the Crown to the Professor- 
ship of Natural History in Marischal College, solely on ac- 

late Professor Macgillivray . 191 

count of his acknowledged merit, for he had no interest what- 
ever ; and the zeal, ability, and success, with which he dis- 
charged his duties, amply justified the nomination. 

To do justice to his memory, he must be regarded as an 
author, an observer, and a teacher. 

His printed works are very numerous, embracing many 
extensive branches of Natural History. It has been remarked 
that had he devoted himself more exclusively to some one 
branch, he would have raised himself to a higher position 
in the scientific world than that which he attained. Probably 
the remark is true ; but had he done so, it is certain he 
would have been a less useful member of society. His spe- 
cial duty as a Professor was to convey as much solid infor- 
mation to others as he could, and that duty he very amply 
discharged, for few modern authors have done more by their 
writings to extend the knowledge of natural science. 

The following list is as correct as can now be furnished 
of his publications; it is impossible to trace and identify all 
his anonymous contributions to the periodicals of the day : — 

I. Separate Publications. 

1. The Travels and Researches of Alexander Von Humboldt. 

One vol., 12mo, 1832. Second Edition, revised, 1834. 
Third Edition, revised, 1836. 

2. Lives of Eminent Zoologists, from Aristotle to Linnaeus, with 

Introductory Remarks on the Study of Natural History, and 
Occasional Observations on the Progress of Zoology. One 
vol., 12mo. 1834. 

3. Description of the Rapacious Birds of Great Britain. One 

vol., 12mo. 1836. 

4. A History of British Birds, Indigenous and Migratory, includ- 

ing their Organisation, Habits, and Relations ; Remarks on 
Classification and Nomenclature ; an Account of the Prin- 
cipal Organs of Birds, and Observations relative to Practical 
Ornithology. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings. De- 
dicated, by permission, to the Queen. Five vols., 8vo. 

5. A History of British Quadrupeds. Illustrated by 34 Plates. 

One vol., 12mo. 1838. 

6. A Manual of Geology. One vol., 12mo. 1840. Second Edi- 

tion, 1841, 


102 Biographical Account of the 

7. A Manual of Botany, comprising Vegetable Anatomy and Phy- 

siology, or the Structure and Functions of Plants. One vol., 
12mo. 1841. 

8. A Manual of British Ornithology ; being a short description 

of the Birds of Great Britain and Ireland, including the 
essential characters of the Species, Genera, Families, and 
Orders. Two vols., 12mo. Part I., 1840. Part II., 1841. 
Second Edition, with Appendix of recently observed species. 

9. A History of the Molluscous Animals of the Counties of Aber- 

deen, Kincardine, and Banff, to which is appended an Ac- 
count of the Cirripedal Animals of the same district. One vol. 
1843. Second Edition, 1844. 

10. Elements of Botany and Vegetable Physiology, including the 

Characters of the Natural Families of Plants, with Illus- 
trative Figures. By A. Richard, M.D. Translated from 
the Fourth Edition, 1831. 

11. The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland, 

arranged according to the Linnsean system. With Instruc- 
tions to Beginners, Illustrated with Figures, a Glossary, and 
Outline of a Natural Classification, compiled for Popular Use. 
One vol., 8vo. Eighth Edition, 1852. 

12. An Introduction to Physiology and Systematical Botany. By 

Sir James Edward Smith, M.D., F.R.S., &c. A New Edi- 
tion, with Additions. One vol., 12mo, 1836. 

13. Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of 

Edinburgh. Part I., comprehending the Preparations illus- 
trative of Pathology, compiled and edited. One vol., post 
8vo. 1836. 

14. Domestic Cattle. Portraits of the Principal Breeds reared in 

Great Britain and Ireland, with Characteristic Descriptions 
of their Peculiarities and Comparative Merits. The Draw- 
ings by Mr J. Cassie junior. Eight parts. Published 

II. Printed in the Transactions of the Wernerian Natural 
History Society. 

1. Notice relative to Two Varieties of Nuphar lutea, found in a lake 

in Aberdeenshire. 

2. Remarks on the Specific Characters of Birds. 

3. Descriptions, Characters, and Synonymes of the different Species 

of the genus Larus, with Critical and Explanatory Remarks. 

4. Description of a supposed New Species of Ornithorhyncus. 

5. Description of a Species of Arvicola, common in Aberdeenshire. 
(J. Remarks on the Phcnogamic Vegetation of the River Deo in 


late Professor Macgillivray \ 193 

III. Printed in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal. 

7. List of Birds found in Harris, part of the outer range of the 


8. Remarks on the Flora Scotica of Dr Hooker. 

9. Notice regarding the Island of Grimsey, off the north coast of 

Iceland, and the Isles of St Kilda, on the north-west coast of 

10. Account of Harris, one of the districts of the Outer Hebrides. 

11. Description of Pecten Niveus, a New Species of Shell. 

12. On the Covering of Birds, considered chiefly with reference to 

the Description and Distinction of Species, Genera, and 

13. Description of a Species of Salix found in Braemar. 

14. Description of a Species of Aira, found on Lochnagar, in Aber- 


15. Remarks on the Serrature of the Middle Claw, and the Irre- 

gular Denticulation of the Beak, in certain Birds. 

16. On the Mammalia of the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and 

17- On a Species of Teredo found in Cork Floats on the Coast of 

18. Remarks on the Cirripedia, with Descriptions of several Species 

found adhering to Vessels from Ichaboe, on the West Coast 

of Africa. 
[Occurrence of the Sea Horse, Walrus or Morse, (Trichecus 

rosmarus, Lin.) in the Hebrides. 
[Description of Annatina villosiuscula, a new species, and of 

Verierupis Nucleus, a species new to the British Fauna.] 

IV. Printed in the Edinburgh Quarterly Journal of 

19. On Natural Pastures. 

20. On the Uses to which certain Indigenous Plants have from time 

immemorial been employed in the Outer Hebrides. 

21. On the Indigenous Trees of North Britain. 

22. Remarks on the Sands of the Outer Hebrides. 

23. On Geology viewed in relation to Agriculture. Sect. I. — In- 

equalities of the Earth's Surface, and the Causes which are 
continually effecting Modifications upon it. Sect. II. — On 
the Nature and Relations of the Materials of which the 
Exterior of the Globe is composed. Sect. III. — General 
View of the Vegetation of the Globe, and of the Causes 
which Influence its Development. 

24. Van Diemen's Land. 

25. New Holland. 

19-1 Biographical Account of the 

26. The Cape of Good Hope. 

27. The Habits of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle. 

V. Printed in the Prize Essays and Transactions of the 

Highland Society of Scotland. 

28. Notice respecting Arundo arenaria and Drift Sand. 

29. Essay on the Nature and Quality of Soils and Subsoils, as 

indicated by Plants. 

30. Report on the Present State of the Outer Hebrides. 

VI. Printed in the Edinburgh Journal of Medical and 

Natural Science. 

31. Account of the Series of Islands usually denominated The 

Outer Hebrides. I. — Introductory Sketch. II. — Geological 
Constitution. III. — Climate. IV. — Soil. V. — Vegetation. 
VI. — Mammifera. VII. — Birds. 

32. On the Granite of the Upper Districts of Aberdeenshire. 

VII. Additions made by Dr Macgillivray to Various Works. 

1. Drawings for Sixteen 4to Plates, Illustrative of " The Internal 

Structure of Fossil Vegetables found in the Carboniferous 
and Oolitic Deposits of Great Britain." By Mr Witham 
of Lartington. 

2. Audubon's Ornithological Biography, 5 vols, royal 8vo. For 

this work, Dr Macgillivray wrote the Descriptions of all the 
Species, and of the Alimentary and Respiratory Organs of 
several hundred Specimens, besides Correcting and Im- 
proving the parts referring to the Distribution of the Spe- 

3. A Synopsis of the Birds of North America. By John Y. Au- 

dubon, F.R.SS. L. & E., &c. The whole of this volume, 
excepting the Notices relative to the Distribution of the 
Species, was written by Dr Macgillivray. 

4. Sketch of the Natatorial Order, for Mr Wilson's Treatise on 

the Natural History of Birds in the Seventh Edition of the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

Besides the above, Dr Macgillivray translated three works 
on Anatomy and Geology, edited a volume of Travels, 
translated about a thousand pages of Natural History from 
French and Latin, and wrote many Papers for the Edinburgh 
Literary Gazette and the Edinburgh Journal of Natural His- 

late Professor Macgillivray . 195 

Dr Macgillivray has left ready for Publication two Works. 

1. " A History of the Vertebrated Animals inhabiting the Counties 

of Forfar, Kincardine, Aberdeen, Banff, Elgin, and Nairn, 
with the adjoining parts of those of Inverness and Perth." 
This, though complete in itself, was intended to form part 
of a work in which Dr Macgillivray had made considerable 
progress, but which would have taken many years to finish. 
It was to have given the complete Natural History of these 
six Counties, comprising their Geology, Mineralogy, Botany, 
and Zoology in all its branches, — a gigantic undertaking, — 
but one whose completion would have been of great national 
importance. No such account of any district of Britain has 
yet appeared as was contemplated in this work. 

2. The Natural History of Balmoral, from Notes made during an 

Excursion to Braemar in the Autumn of 1850. 

It is to be hoped that both these works will be given to 
the public. The former is complete in itself so far as it goes, 
though only comprising a small portion of the intended pub- 
lication. The latter was left ready for the press, and the 
district which it describes is not only interesting from its 
alpine character, but doubly so from being the chosen sum- 
mer residence of our Sovereign and her consort. 

It is impossible to read over this list without admiration 
of the diligence of the author. Had he been a mere closet 
student, an arranger and describer of other men's labours, 
his work would have been great, and beyond the powers 
of most to accomplish ; but the charm and value of his 
books consist in their being so largely the results of his own 

His style is singularly clear and distinct ; conveying his 
ideas in an unmistakeable form, there can never be any 
doubt of what he intends to say — a valuable quality in any 
writer, but of special importance in books of natural history. 
Occasionally his delight in the subject before him leads him 
somewhat beyond the strict limits of scientific technicality, 
but never beyond those of perfect accuracy. 

His descriptions may by some have been criticised as too 
particular, but this is not a fault which careful students of 
natural history will be much disposed to find ; to be truly 

196 Biographical Account of the 

useful in the identification of species, a description can 
scarcely be too minute. 

His largest and most important work, and that on which 
his fame must mainly rest, is his History of British Birds, 
which was in progress during a great part of his life. The 
first volume issued from the press in 1837 ; the fifth and last 
was published the very week of his death. 

As a scientific ornithologist, he first introduced the method 
of determining species by anatomical structure, which, al- 
though not yet universally adopted, is undeniably the most 
correct and certain which has been proposed ; and the com- 
parative neglect of it is probably to be attributed to the fact 
that many intelligent observers and describers of birds are 
not sufficiently expert anatomists to be able to avail them- 
selves of it. 

His views will be best given in his own words : — 

" After much consideration, however, and after examining 
the digestive organs in a great number of birds belonging to 
nearly all the families, I have resolved to adopt the intestinal 
canal as a central point of reference. Instead, then, of de- 
scribing merely the bill, I attend to the mandibles, the mouth, 
the tongue, the throat, the oesophagus, the crop, the proven- 
triculus, the stomach, the intestines, and the coecal appen- 
dages ; the modifications of which seem to be to throw more 
light upon the affinities of the larger groups than those of any 
other organ." — (Introduction to History of British Birds, 
p. 6.) 

" Some ingenious writers have attempted to shew that a 
knowledge of the internal structure of animals is not essen- 
tial to the zoologist, who, it is said, may get on remarkably 
well, and form the most natural arrangements, by attending 
merely to the exterior. The views of such persons are not 
likely to find much favour in the eyes of those who have 
studied animals as organised beings, and who do not remain 
satisfied with inspecting the surface. Zootomy regards the 
entire structure of animals, which must be examined in all 
their parts before the zoologist can arrange them according 
to their affinities. The study of their interior must in fact 
form the basis of all arrangement ; and although many 

la te Professor Macg Mi v i ni; . 107 

natural groups may be formed by attending exclusively to 
the exterior of animals, it is only because their internal 
organisation is presumed to be similar. The external parts 
afford an index to the internal ; and if we find a bird having 
a short hooked bill and curved claws, we shall not be wrong 
in inferring that it has a wide oesophagus and a large mem- 
branous stomach. The great divisions of zoology can be 
laid out only by a zootomist ; but the details of the system 
may occasionally, perhaps frequently, but never with abso- 
lute certainty, be elaborated by him who regards only the 
exterior. No rational system of ornithology has ever ap- 
peared for these two reasons : — Because no system-maker 
has been equally acquainted with the internal structure, the 
external parts, and the habits and actions of birds ; and, 
more especially, because birds have not yet been subjected 
to a sufficiently minute examination. I have been induced to 
offer these remarks because I regret that the science has been 
degraded by having been left entirely in the hands of those 
who appear to despise, because they have no knowledge of 
the internal structure of birds ; and I have considered it my 
duty to impress upon the student the necessity of dissecting 
with all diligence. Were it possible to cast away all the 
knowledge already acquired, and commence anew upon the 
plan of considering birds as admirable specimens of divine 
workmanship, to be examined in all their details, we should, 
I believe, be great gainers in real knowledge." — (Introduc- 
tion, pp. 85, 86.) And again — 

" To acquire a satisfactory knowledge of any bird, one 
must, in the first place, obtain a general idea of its external 
appearance, so as not only to be able to distinguish it at 
sight, but also to know in what respects it resembles others, 
or differs from them. Then he ought to examine its inte- 
rior, and more especially its digestive organs, which indicate 
the nature of its food, the latter necessarily determining its 
haunts. He now seeks it there, and observes its mode of 
walking and flying, its favourite places of resort, and its vari- 
ous actions, listens to its notes, follows it to its nest, which 
he inspects, and takes note of its migrations or local shift- 
ings. The food can be detected with accuracy only by open- 

198 Biographical Account of the 

ing the crop and gizzard ; and the changes in the colour of 
the plumage can be ascertained only by procuring indivi- 
duals at different seasons. In attending to these and other 
particulars, one necessarily acquires much enthusiasm, and 
consumes much time." — (Introduction, pp. 90, 91.) 

Throughout the work he gives excellent figures of the di- 
gestive organs of the orders described, as also of their os- 
seous structure, and occasional very accurate and expressive 
drawings of their heads and wings. It is matter of regret 
that the expense of engravings prevented the work being- 
more copiously illustrated by these figures, for they are sin- 
gularly correct. 

He delighted not only in examining the structure of Birds 
both internal and external, but also in watching their habits, 
as is shewn in many passages in which they are most graphi- 
cally described. 

The habits of Ptarmigan are thus set before his readers : — 
"Near the summit of a projecting mass of rock, in this re- 
gion, I sat down among the crumbling blocks of granite to 
compare Airafleomosa, which grew in tufts, with its charac- 
ters in Smith's Compendium ; and when I rose, a large covey 
of Ptarmigans sprung from among the stones about a hun- 
dred and fifty yards beneath me. 

" These beautiful birds while feeding, run and walk among 
the weather-beaten and lichen-crusted fragments of rock, 
from which it is very difficult to distinguish them when they 
remain motionless, as they invariably do should a person be 
in sight. Indeed, unless you are directed to a particular 
spot by their strange, low, croaking cry, which has been com- 
pared to the harsh scream of the Missel-thrush, but which 
seems to me much more like the cry of a frog ; you may pass 
through a flock of Ptarmigans without observing a single in- 
dividual, although some of them may not be ten yards dis- 
tant. When squatted, however, they utter no sound, their 
object being to conceal themselves ; and if you discover the 
one from which the cry has proceeded, you generally find 
him on the top of a stone, ready to spring off the moment 
you shew an indication of hostility. If you throw a stone at 
him, he rises, utters his call, and is immediately joined by all 

late Professor Maegillivray. 199 

the individuals around, which, to your surprise, if it be your 
first rencontre, you see spring up one by one from the bare 
ground. They generally fly off in a loose body, with a direct 
and moderately rapid flight, resembling, but lighter than, 
that of the brown Ptarmigan, and settle on a distant part of 
the mountain, or betake themselves to one of the neighbour- 
ing summits, perhaps more than a mile distant." — (Vol. i., p. 

Again, let us visit a rookery with him at night : " Not hav- 
ing visited a rookery at night, I w T as desirous of knowing 
how the birds would conduct themselves when disturbed by 
an intruder after they had retired to rest, and accordingly 
went this evening, the 14th April, to that at Prestonfield, in 
my neighbourhood. When about four hundred yards from 
it I stopped to listen, and was surprised to hear several rooks 
uttering a variety of soft, clear, modulated notes, very unlike 
their usual cry. In the intervals I could distinguish the 
faint shrill voice of the newly-hatched young, which their 
mothers, I felt persuaded, were fondling and coaxing in this 
manner. Indeed the sounds were plainly expressive of affec- 
tion and a desire to please. Presently all became still, and I ad- 
vanced until I could perceive the male birds perched on the 
twigs in great numbers. They had no doubt observed me, and a 
few seemed ready to fly off, but it was not until a loud croak 
from a distance, several times repeated, gave warning to the 
whole community, that they did so. As I proceeded, all the 
males removed, and ultimately, I believe, the females also ; 
but with much less clamour than they would have used had 
it been day, most of them remaining mute, several uttering 
a kind of low grunt, expressive of dissatisfaction, others a 
sort of panting noise, indicative of fear, and only a few croak- 
ing aloud in anger. I believe the whole colony was on wing, 
and wheeling over the trees, the young remaining perfectly 
mute. As I moved along, I heard those whose nests were 
behind settling in succession on the twigs, and before I had 
retired to the distance of four hundred yards they all seemed 
to have returned. Their flight on this occasion was singu- 
larly wavering, undulatory, and undecided, and the strong- 
flappings of their wings were distinctly heard, it being a calm 

200 Biographical Account of the 

evening. After they had all regained their tranquillity, a 
few croaks only being heard now and then, I broke a stick to 
see what effect the noise might have, when a few that were 
on some trees nearer than the rookery flew off in silence. A 
repetition of the noise produced the same effect, but the 
sound did not disturb the main body. I then clapped my 
bands, when presently all was mute, and so long as this 
sound was repeated, no cry was emitted. They seemed to 
watch in silence my further proceedings ; and, on my ceas- 
ing, the rookery resumed its natural state : a young bird 
now and then uttered its faint cry, on which an old one 
emitted its curious modulated notes, and a gruff old fellow 
or two croaked aloud at intervals. The great variety of 
notes emitted by the rooks under these circumstances greatly 
surprised me ; for although I had been aware that their cry 
is not always merely a craa, I did not imagine that their voice 
was capable of presenting so many modifications. — (Vol. i., p. 

Or let us take one of his latest descriptions, that of the 
Great Black-backed Gull: — "'The Great Black-backed Gull 
is among the most beautiful of a tribe remarkable for beauty. 
The contrast between the dark purple tint of his back and 
wings, and the snowy white of the rest of his plumage, with 
the bright carmine-patched yellow of his powerful bill, and 
the delicate pinkish hue of his feet, render him an object at 
all times agreeable to the sight. No sprinkling of dust, no 
spot of mud, ever soil his downy clothing ; his bill exhibits 
no tinge derived from the subject of his last meal, bloody or 
half-putrid though it be ; and his feet, laved by the clear 
brine, are ever beautifully pure. There he stands on the 
sandy point, the guardian, as it were, of that flock of not less 
cleanly, and scarcely less lovely, Herring Gulls and Sea Mews. 
But not giving us more credit for our good intentions than 
we deserve, he spreads out his large wings, stretches forth 
his strong neck, runs a few paces, and uttering a loud scream- 
ing cry, springs into the air. Some gentle flaps of those 
vigorous wings carry him to a safe distance, when he alights 
on the smooth water, and is presently joined by his clamor- 
ous companions. Buoyantly they float, each with his head 

late Professor Macgillivray. 201 

to the wind, like a fleet of merchantmen at anchor, secured 
from the attacks of pirates by the presence of their gallant 
convoy. If in mere wantonness you discharge your artillery, 
sending a bullet skipping among the flock, they hurriedly 
rise on the wing, fill the air with their cries, and wheel 
around at a safe distance, while the Black-backed Gull, dis- 
daining to mingle with the clamorous crowd, after a few 
wide circlings flies off seaward, and is soon out of sight." 
* - * * * « Yigi] an t and suspicious, it is not easily ap- 
proached at any season, it being of all our gulls that which 
forms the most correct estimate of the destructive powers 
and propensities of man. Chief of its tribe and tyrant of the 
seas, it evinces a haughty superiority which none of our 
aquatic species seem inclined to dispute. Little disposed to 
associate with its inferiors, it passes its leisure hours or 
periods of repose, on unfrequented parts of the sand, or 
on shoals or islets, often on the bosom of the sea, just be- 
hind the breakers, where it floats lightly on the waves, pre- 
senting a beautiful appearance as it rises and falls on the 
ever-varying surface. In winter it is scarcely gregarious, 
more than a few individuals being seldom seen together ; but 
when there are shoals of fish in the bays or creeks, it 
mingles with the other gulls, from which it is always easily 
distinguished by its superior size and very loud clear cry, 
which may be heard in calm weather at the distance of a 
mile. Frequently, when flying, it emits also a loud rather 
hoarse cackle, having affinity in sound, although not analo- 
gous in nature, to a human laugh. All the larger gulls are 
in one sense laughter-loving birds ; but if we take note of 
the occasions when their cachinnations are edited, we discover 
that so far from being the expressions of unusual mirth, they 
are employed to express anxiety, alarm, anger, and revenge. 
Its flight is strong, ordinarily sedate, less wavering and 
buoyant than that of smaller species, but graceful, effective, 
and even majestic. There, running a few steps, and flap- 
ping its long wings, it springs into the air, wheels to either 
side, ascends, and on outspread and beautifully-curved pin- 
ions, hies away to some distant place. In advancing against 
a strong breeze, it sometimes proceeds straight forward, 

202 Biographical Account of the 

then shoots away in an oblique direction, now descends in a 
long curve so as almost to touch the water, then mounts on 
high. When it wheels about, and sweeps down the wind, 
its progress is extremely rapid. It walks with ease, using 
short steps, runs with considerable speed, and, like the other 
gulls, pats the sand or mud on the edge of the water with its 
feet. It generally rests standing on one foot, with its head 
drawn in ; but in a dry place it often reposes by laying it- 
self down."—(Vol. v., p. 530.) 

These and many other passages bring most vividly before 
the mind of even the unscientific reader, the habits of the 
bird described. Many of them are indeed models of correct 
and tasteful description. 

This work contains a full account of every species of bird 
known at the time to inhabit or visit any part of Great Bri- 
tain or Ireland. Doubtless the discovery of new species 
must occasionally reward the researches of future ornitholo- 
gists, but at this moment the work contains the only full and 
detailed technical description hitherto given in this country. 
The habits of the species are treated with equal extension 
in every case where he had been enabled to study them ad- 
vantageously ; and the internal structure, especially of the 
alimentary organs, carefully described wherever it seemed 
expedient to do so. In short, this work must long continue 
to be the great Ornithological Thesaurus of the British Isles. 

His work on the Mollusca of Aberdeenshire gave an im- 
pulse to the study of Conchology on the eastern coast of 
Scotland. It is the first zoological book which has issued 
from his college, and it has already reached the second edi- 
tion ; but his edition of" Withering's British Plants" proved 
to be the most popular of his works, having now reached 
the eighth edition. He bestowed much pains in correcting 
and improving it; and on receiving a complete copy of the last 
edition a few weeks before his death, he remarked " This 
book is now as perfect as I can make it." It is distinguish- 
ed by the same minute accuracy and distinctness which 
characterises his other works. 

A pleasing characteristic in all his writings, is the care 
with which he awards to other writers and discoverers, what- 

late Professor Macgillivray. 203 

ever they have discovered or described ; he had so little de- 
sire to acquire renown which did not belong to him, that he 
often failed to do justice to himself and his own labours. 

As an observer, he was patient and persevering ; and no 
one but an enthusiastic lover of nature could have undergone 
the pains and privations he endured in following out his fa- 
vourite researches. Whatever might be his special pursuit 
at the time, his eye and ear were ever ready to seize what- 
ever natural object presented itself, and hence the great ac- 
cumulation which he eventually made of observations of his 
own in Zoology, Botany, and Geology. Whatever he discover- 
ed was at once freely communicated to others ; he had no idea 
of hoarding up either facts or specimens for his own peculiar 
use. His taste was refined, and he had an intense delight 
in contemplating natural beauty, whether it were a bird, a 
plant, a shell, an insect, or an extensive landscape, none of 
its beauties escaped his notice. 

As a lecturer, he was distinct and methodical. He labour- 
ed to lay securely the first foundations of each study in the 
minds of his pupils, well knowing that unless this were duly 
accomplished, their future acquirements would be of little 
real value. 

He was thoroughly impressed with the importance of the 
branches which he taught, and honestly valued them far 
above either classical learning or mathematical science, and 
it was well for his pupils and himself that he did so, for 
though other parties may justly estimate the comparative 
value of different branches of human knowledge, and place 
his studies below the rank which he contended they ought to 
possess, it is sure, as a general principle, that neither 
teacher nor professor can ever be of much use who is not tho- 
roughly persuaded of the paramount importance of his own 
branch of study ; unless he be so, he can never stimulate 
either himself or his students to work as they ought. 

As Professor in Marischal College, he suffered under one 
disadvantage, which he greatly felt, viz., the almost total 
want of a Museum, to teach even the elements of his subjects. 
This defect he was obliged himself to supply, and to expend 
largely from his own resources in the purchase and collection 

204 Biographical Account of the 

of specimens for the use of his students. It is to be hoped 
that means may be devised to remedy this evil, and that 
Marischal College, which has already done so much to rais v 
the standard of education in the north, will make a vigorous 
exertion to procure a suitable Museum, so that, in future, the 
Professor of Natural History shall not be obliged to spend most 
of his income, for the first few years of his holding the office, 
in procuring the most common and necessary objects. On 
the present occasion, in particular, it is to be hoped that Dr 
Macgillivray's collections will not be allowed to be dispersed, 
but purchased for the use of the class. 

He was a careful lecturer, explaining every part of his 
subject as minutely as his time would permit. To his stu- 
dents he was ever kind and courteous, and he delighted in en- 
couraging all who shewed any taste for their studies, — all 
his information was ever at their service, as indeed it was to 
any one who took an interest in Natural History. 
_ He kept good order and discipline among his pupils, 
with little trouble either to them or himself, for they gene- 
rally loved him ; and if he at times found occasion to re- 
prove sharply, it was done as a painful duty which he owed 
to those who were deliberately wasting precious time, and 
neglecting to improve the talents which he saw that they 

He was mild and gentle in his manners, and of a retiring 
and unobtrusive disposition, never thinking highly of him- 
self or his acquirements, but rather disposed to give place 
to others. Engrossed by his own pursuits and duties, he 
took little interest in the public affairs of the world, or 
in the momentous changes both in state and church which 
occurred in his day. 

By his colleagues in the University he was highly esteem- 
ed. In an address of condolence to his family, adopted at 
the first meeting of the Senatus after his death, they thus 
express their feelings regarding him: — "The Senatus, tak- 
ing into consideration the high and acknowledged eminence 
of their late colleague, Dr Macgillivray, in natural science, 
his zealous and laborious efforts to promote the interests 
thereof, both as a teacher and as an author, and his amiable 

late Professor MacgilliOray. 205 

and estimable personal character, unanimously resolve to 
record the expression of the deep sense of the loss which 
this University has sustained by his death, and of their sincere 
sympathy with his bereaved family; and they appoint an ex- 
tract of this minute to be sent to the family." 

He was a sincere and simple-hearted believer in the truths 
of the Gospel, and they were his comfort and stronghold 
during the long months of his gradual decay. As death ap- 
proached, his faith became stronger and firmer ; and it was 
highly characteristic of his conscientious discharge of duty 
that he continued to work almost to the last day of his life, 
though perfectly aware that death was surely and rapidly 
approaching. The last passages of the British Birds were 
written under this impression, and cannot now be read by 
his friends without emotion. See preface to vol. v., and con- 
clusion of vol. v. 

To all modern infidel or atheistic theories, so abundant in 
most branches of natural science imported from the Conti- 
nent, and reproduced under forms somewhat modified in this 
country, and which in fact strike at the root of all religious 
belief, whether under the name of Vestiges, or of Palingene- 
sis, or Development, he was entirely opposed. They were 
alike repugnant to him as a philosopher, and distasteful and 
offensive to him as a Christian. Nor did he lose any fitting 
opportunity of exposing their absurdities. 

His health began to fail about a year and a half before his 
death, and he never appeared to recover from the fatigue and 
exposure of a month spent in 1850, in exploring the central 
region of the Grampians, the district around Lochnagar. In 
November 1851, he was obliged to repair to the south of 
England, in the expectation of benefiting by the milder air 
of Devonshire, and at first there was some ground to hope, 
but after his arrival at Torquay, he was suddenly deprived 
of his wife, to whom he was tenderly attached ; and from 
this blow, though he received it as a man and a Christian, he 
appears never to have rallied ; he gradually became weaker, 
and though he never ceased to work, it was most distressing 
to his family to see his exertions, the mind and will reso- 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII.— APlilL 1853„ P 

206 Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 

lutely striving against the weakness of the body. He was 
confined to bed for a few days at last; spoke much and affec- 
tionately to his children when pain did not prevent him ; 
looked forward with calmness and hope to his last struggle ; 
expressed in the clearest terms his simple trust in his Savi- 
our alone, and at last gently fell asleep to be for ever with the 
Lord, whose works he had so ardently admired on earth, and 
in whose atoning blood he trusted for acceptance with his 

He married early in life and has left a numerous family, 
for whom we regret to learn he has not been able to make 
any provision. His eldest son has already distinguished 
himself as a naturalist. He was employed in that capacity 
by the late Earl Derby, on board the expedition sent by him 
round the world ; and after his return he wrote the account 
of the voyage of the " Rattlesnake " in a manner which has 
justly earned him a high reputation, both as an observer and 
a describer. He is now absent as Government Naturalist on 
board the " Herald," which lately sailed to carry out and 
complete the exploration of the Eastern Archipelago and 
Southern Pacific, and we trust in due time, by means of this 
expedition, to have a large accession to our knowledge from 
the pen of Mr John Macgillivray. 

Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron, and the effect 
that results from it upon the direction of the Compasses in 

The terrestrial globe may, like a magnet, exercise at a 
distance its magnetising powers. If we hold vertically, or, 
which is still better, in the direction of the dipping needle, a 
bar of soft iron about a yard in length, we find that it ac- 
quires two poles, a north pole at its lower, and a south pole 
at its upper extremity. The existence of these two poles is 
manifested by the attractive and repulsive action exercised 
by the two extremities of the bar upon the same pole of a 

Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 207 

magnetised needle, delicately suspended and brought near to 
them. The terrestrial globe, therefore, acts as a great mag- 
net would act whose axis, passing through the centre of the 
earth, should be situated in the magnetic meridian, and which 
should have, at the north, a pole contrary to the pole of the 
needle that is directed to the north ; and at the south an- 
other pole, in like manner contrary to the pole of the needle 
that is directed to the south. This hypothesis upon the 
cause of terrestrial magnetism would also explain the direc- 
tion of the magnetised needle ; which would also be the 
result of the attractions exercised by the magnetic poles 
of the globe upon the contrary poles of the magnetised 
needle. It would be sufficient, therefore, in order to know 
the position of the magnetic pole of the earth, situated at the 
north, to determine carefully the direction of the dipping 
needle in several different places ; and the intersection of 
these lines would be the point where the pole in question 
would be found. It would be necessary to go through the 
same process on the other side of the magnetic equator, in 
order to determine the position of the terrestrial magnetic 
pole situated on the south. But it is found that the direc- 
tions of the dipping needle, when produced, whether in the 
boreal or austral hemisphere, do not all intersect exactly 
in the same point ; which would seem to prove that there is 
not, therefore, in each hemisphere, a single pole or a single 
centre of magnetic action. We shall return, in detail, to this 
interesting subject of terrestrial physics, when we shall be 
treating upon the numerous observations that have been col- 
lected upon the different phenomena of terrestrial magnetism, 
and upon the hypotheses that have been made of its origin 
and its nature. 

It may not be useless to mention here a denomination still 
employed in French works, and which owes its origin to the 
terrestrial theory of the magnet. Setting out from the hypo- 
thesis that the earth possesses two magnetic poles, and from 
the principle established by experiment, that poles of the con- 
trary name attract each other, they have called that pole of the 
magnetised needle that is directed towards the north, the aus~ 


208 Infix Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron, 

tral pole ; because, say they, it is attracted by the magnetic 
pole of the earth situated at the north, and which is naturally 
the boreal pole ; for the same reason they have given the 
name of boreal pole to that end of the needle that is directed 
towards the south ; because, say they, it is attracted by the 
austral pole of the globe. With regard to ourselves, as we 
prefer a denomination founded upon fact to that which rests 
upon theory more or less contestable, we shall continue to 
call the north pole of the needle that which is directed to- 
wards the north, and the south pole that which is directed 
towards the south. 

The magnetisation produced by terrestrial magnetism is 
facilitated by all actions, whether mechanical or physical, 
which derange the molecules of iron from their natural posi- 
tion of equilibrium. Thus percussion, torsion, every kind of 
vibration, impressed upon a bar of iron determines in it the 
presence of the two magnetic poles ; simple^ oxidation in the 
air produces the same effect. To prove that this magnetisation 
is entirely due to the influence of terrestrial magnetism, and 
not to these actions themselves, we have merely to examine 
the position of the poles in the bars submitted to experiment, 
and we find that this position is always that which would re- 
sult from the immediate action of the globe ; thus, the north 
pole is always the one found at the extremity of the bar that 
is inclined below the horizon, or at that which is turned to- 
wards the side of the north, if the bar is horizontal. We 
may even, if the bar is of very soft iron, immediately change 
the poles by suddenly turning it so that the extremity which 
was directed towards the north shall be to the south, and 
that which was directed towards the south shall be to the 
north. Furthermore, it is easy to prove that, whatever be 
the action by which the body is constrained, the magnetism 
that it acquires is the more intense as its position approaches 
more the direction of the dipping needle ; and that it becomes 
altogether null if the bar is placed in a position perfectly 
perpendicular to this direction. We have thus the evident 
proof that the effect does not arise in an immediate manner 
from the action to which the bar is subjected, but simply 

Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 209 

from terrestrial magnetism, the influence of which is favoured 
by this action. 

To the influence of this magnetism must be attributed the 
magnetisation possessed by all magnetic bodies left for any 
length of time in the same place ; thus, the rods of lightning 
conductors, the points of steeples.* bars, or other iron ob- 
jects, placed in buildings, always present traces of magnet- 
ism ; it is the same with iron or steel tools, such as those of 
a locksmith ; or punches, or cutting instruments that are 
liable to undergo vibratory movements by the use to which 
they are applied. We can even obtain powerful magnets, 
from the magnetism produced by means of the terrestrial 
globe, by taking a certain number of iron wires, twelve or 
fifteen inches in length, and twisting them strongly while 
held in a vertical position, or which is better still, in the di- 
rection of the dipping needle. This operation, which renders 
them stiffer, facilitates, at the same time, the development 
within them of a very powerful magnetism ; and, when once 
they have been magnetised, they are united to form a bundle, 
care being taken that their similar poles are all at the same 
extremity of the bundle. 

The magnetising action exercised by terrestrial magnet- 
ism upon iron may determine upon the needles of compasses 
very serious deviations, when they are placed upon vessels 
in motion. In fact, these structures which always contain 
in their fabric a very considerable quantity of bars and plates 
and rods of iron, are found, from this circumstance, to con- 
tain magnets ; the poles of which must change with the po- 
sition of the vessel, in respect to the magnetic meridian. 
There is produced, therefore, upon the magnetic needle, a va- 
riable action, the effect of which it is impossible to determine 
beforehand ; whilst, if the vessel always remained at the 
same place, it would be an easy matter to appreciate the in- 
fluence of this cause of deviation, and to take account of it. 

* It is probable that, in respect to elevated iron points, such, in particular, 
as those of lightning conductors, atmospheric electricity, or more especially 
that from lightning, contributes its part to their magnetisation as much, and 
more so. than terrestrial mncrnetism. 

210 Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 

Navigators also are exposed to making great errors, which 
might be attended with serious consequences. Suppose, for 
example, that the axis of the vessel, that is to say, the line 
going from stem to stern, was at first perpendicular to the 
plane of the magnetic meridian, and directed to the west ; 
that, in this position, the deviation of the needle was 20° to the 
west of the direction that it ought to have ; a change in the 
course of the vessel causes the axis to turn 180°, namely, from 
west to east ; by the effect of this change of direction, the de- 
viation has also passed from west to east, and is conse- 
quently 20° to the east. It is evident that the observer, who 
should not be acquainted with the action of the iron contain- 
ed in the vessel, to which these two deviations of 20°, first to 
the west and then to the east, are due, would believe that 
the needle has remained parallel to itself, and would judge 
that the rotation of the vessel had only been 180°— 20° + 2, 
or 180°- 40°, namely, 140°, whilst it had really been 180°. 
He would have been deceived, therefore, to the amount of 
40° on the second direction of the vessel, supposing that he 
had carefully determined the first direction by the ordinary 

Mr Barlow proposed various means of avoiding the dan- 
gerous errors to navigation that we have just pointed out. 
One of these means consisted in placing in the neighbour- 
hood of the compass a plate of soft iron, which becomes mag- 
netised like the other masses of iron in the vessel, by the in- 
fluence of the globes. This plate is put into such a position 
in front of the compass, that its action upon the needle shall 
be exactly equal to the total action of all the iron distribut- 
ed throughout the vessel ; so that, by removing the plate, 
one half of the local deviation is removed, whence the amount 
of local deviation due to the ship's iron is readily obtained. 
The position that should be given to this plate has been 
previously determined by trials. 

Another means has also been employed by Mr Barlow, 
from numerous experiments made by placing the vessel in 
every azimuthal position, and comparing, by means of two 
telescopes, the direction of its compass in every position with 
that of a magnetised needle remaining on the shore. Pie sue- 

Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 211 

ceeded in determining empirically the correction that should 
be made in the observed deviation, in order to obtain the 
true magnetic declination of the place where the observa- 
tion was made. But this process, like the former, requires 
a series of distinct operations for each vessel in particular, 
those made for one not being able to be used for another. 
It is, moreover, not without some practical difficulties. 

M. Poisson, impressed with the importance to navigation 
of the question upon which we have just been treating, and 
convinced that it had been only imperfectly resolved by the 
empirical means that we have pointed out, endeavoured to 
submit it to analysis, and so to arrive at a general formula 
of correction. He proposed to determine directly the true in- 
clination and declination in any given place on the globe, from 
observations of the compass made on board a vessel, and 
under the influence of the iron that it contains. The iron 
being magnetised by the magnetic force of the earth, it is 
evident that its action upon the needle will be proportional 
to this force. Further, since the components of this action 
correspond to three rectangular axes passing constantly 
through the same points of the ship, they have, for their ex- 
pressions, linear functions bearing relation to the components 
of the action of the globe in the direction of these same 
axes. The magnetic force of the globe, then, is common to 
all the terms of the equation of the equilibrium of the com- 
pass, and consequently disappears from it. The formula 
contains different terms that must be determined ; and, in 
particular, the quantities dependent upon the total amount 
and the distribution of the iron contained by the vessel. But 
for various reasons connected with the distribution of the 
masses of iron in vessels, which is, in general, symmetric, 
and with their position, which is in the most part below the 
horizontal plane drawn through the point of suspension of the 
compass, M. Poisson succeeded in simplifying the problem. 
The two unknown terms to be determined, are the true in- 
clination and declination ; and, for this determination, two 
data from observation are sufficient : Those required by M. 
Poisson' s simplified formula are, — the angles of the principal 
section, or of the axis of the vessel, with the apparent direc- 

212 Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Iron. 

tion of the compass before and after this section or axis 
has been made to turn to a known angle. Other formulae 
enable us even to avoid this operation, and to be content with 
merely observing the direction of the compass before and after 
the addition of a mass of iron, always placed in the same 
manner, and so as easily to be brought near to the compass 
to change its direction. 

Influence of Temperature on Magnetism. 

Among the actions that facilitate magnetisation by terres- 
trial magnetism, one of the most efficacious consists in heat- 
ing the magnetic body to redness, and allowing it to cool 
under the influence of this magnetism. The cooling that fol- 
lows a much lower elevation of temperature is even sufficient. 
MM. Moser and Riess have proved that, to this kind of ef- 
fect, we must refer the phenomena of magnetisation that have 
been supposed to be produced by rays of light, and especially 
by the violet rays. They have proved that, as these effects 
only take place when the needles which experience them 
are in a position perpendicular to the magnetic meridian, they 
can be attributed to terrestrial magnetism alone, the action 
of which is facilitated by the elevation of temperature brought 
about by the solar rays, or rather by the cooling that follows 
it. Heat, in fact, far from increasing, notably diminishes, on 
the contrary, the intensity of the magnetic virtue. A mag- 
netised steel bar, when brought to a red-white heat, totally 
loses its magnetism ; should it have become magnetic during 
cooling, it is due to the action of the earth. A soft iron bar 
is no longer magnetic, that i3 to say, is no longer attracted 
by the magnet, when it is simply brought to a red heat. Nickel 
ceases to be magnetic at the temperature of boiling oil. With 
regard to cobalt, its magnetic force does not seem gradually 
to diminish, as is the case with other substances, in propor- 
tion as its temperature increases ; but it suddenly ceases at 
an extremely high temperature, and it then appears again 
just as rapidly when the metal is made to descend from this 
high temperature. 

The remarkable influence that is exercised upon magnetism 

Influence of Temperature on Magnetism. 213 

by elevation of temperature had led several philosophers to 
believe that the property possessed by certain bodies of being 
magnetic, was due to the small distance existing between 
the atoms of which they are formed. 

In fact, iron, cobalt, and nickel, are among those bodies which, 
under the same volume, contain the greatest number of atoms, 
and consequently are those whose atoms are the nearest to- 
gether. To heat these bodies is to remove their particles from 
each other; now, since this increase of distance makes them lose 
their magnetic properties when it is carried to a certain point, 
it follows that the substances among which the atoms are na- 
turally more apart cannot possess these properties. What 
must be done, then, to make them acquire these properties % 
We must bring the particles nearer, and, for this purpose, 
must cool these bodies. Guided by this ingenious idea, Fara- 
day had exposed, to an exceedingly low temperature, the 
greater part of the metals, and several of their compounds, 
and also carbon ; and, notwithstanding he acted upon them 
with a very powerful magnet, he was unable to discover any 
trace of magnetism ; he had the precaution to take all these 
bodies in a state of great purity, and deprived of all traces 
of iron. By means of a mixture of ether and carbonic acid 
placed in a vacuum, he succeeded in reducing their tempera- 
ture to 105° cent, below 0°. Manganese itself presented no 
trace of magnetism. Mr Faraday has shewn that it is to the 
presence of a few particles of iron, of which it is a difficult 
matter to deprive it, that this metal had hitherto been errone- 
ously classed among those which are magnetic. Thus, iron, 
nickel, cobalt, and steel, would seem to be the only bodies in 
nature that are magnetic, that is to say, that present mag- 
netic properties, such as we have just studied and denned 
them. Faraday has arrived, by other means, to discovering 
equally in all bodies evident magnetic properties, but vari- 
able, in the form under which they are manifested, with the 
nature of the bodies themselves. — {A Treatise on Electricity , 
by A. de la Rive, vol i., p. 174.) 


Meteorological Phenomena in connection with the Climate 
of Berlin. Translated by Mrs Anne Ramsden Bennett 
from the German of Professor Dove. 

(Continued from vol. liv. page 162.) 

On the nights of the 30th April and 1st May, an explosion was 
heard at Barbadoes, so like the discharge of artillery, that the sol- 
diers in the garrison of St Anna remained under arms. On the 
1st of May, when day dawned, the eastern edge of the horizon was 
clearly visible, but the whole upper portion of the heavens was over- 
cast by a thick cloud which soon extended itself and concealed the 
horizon from view. At last it became so dark that it was impossible 
for the people in the houses to distinguish the situation of the win- 
dows in their chambers, whilst the branches of the trees were 
weighed down and broken under the pressure of a mass of ashes 
which fell like rain. Whence came these ashes ? According to 
the direction of the prevailing trade-winds during April and May, 
they would have come from the Peak of the Azores, and yet these 
ashes came from the volcano of Morne Carou on the Island of St 
Vincent, which lies twenty miles to the west, and is so completely 
separated from Barbadoes at this season by the trade-winds, that it 
is only possible to sail there by making a very wide circuit. The 
volcano had therefore ejected its ashes through the under into the 
upper trade-wind. To this hitherto solitary example of the carrying 
away of volcanic ashes in the direction of the upper instead of the 
under current, modern times has added a more striking example. 
On the 20th January 1835, the whole of the Isthmus of Central 
America was shaken by an earthquake, accompanied by an eruption 
of Coseguina. On the 24th and 25th, the sun was darkened at King- 
ston in Jamaica, distant 800 miles, by a shower of fine ashes, and 
this was the first indication which the inhabitants received that the 
explosion which had already been heard had not been the report of 
cannon. These ashes could only have been carried there by the 
upper trade-wind, for Jamaica lies to the north-east of Nicaragua. 
Besides this, the exception is a striking illustration of how the as- 
cending air divides in the region of calms and flows towards both 
poles, since some ashes also fell on board the ship Conway as it was 
pursuing its course over the Pacific Ocean at a distance of 700 Eng- 
lish miles from Coseguina. 

Even on the highest point of the Andes, the upper current of air 
has never been reached by travellers. In that neighbourhood, there- 
fore, the region of calms must be situated at the height of more than 
20,000 feet above the level of the sea. Thus, in order that ashes 
out of lower volcanoes, such as those of Morne Carou and Coseguina, 

Meteorological Phenomena. 215 

should be ejected to such a height, the explosion must be tremendous ; 
and so it was in both cases. The roaring of the Coseguina was 
heard at Kingston, San Salvador, Baliza, Santa Martha, and Santa 
Ee da Bogota, therefore at a distance of 200 German miles. Union, 
a seaport on the west coast of" Conchagua, was in utter darkness 
during the space of forty-three hours. "When lights began to glim- 
mer again, and render objects visible, it was found that the sea-coast 
had advanced 800 feet, by means of the mass of falling ashes. In 
like manner, the volcano of Morne Carou belongs to a chain of mag- 
nificent volcanic influences, the last link of which it forms. In the 
midst of earthquakes, and of smoke and flame which lasted from 
June till July in the year 1811, the Island of Sabrina was upheaved 
out of the sea in the neighbourhood of St Miguel, one of the Azores, 
and rose to the height of 300 feet above it, the depth of the sea in 
that place being 150 feet, and the circumference of the newly-formed 
island about an English mile. Then the Lesser Antilles were shaken 
by earthquakes, and rent the valleys of the Mississippi, Arkansas, 
and Ohio. But the elastic force found no outlet there ; it sought it 
on the north of Columbia. The 26th of March dawned an extra- 
ordinarily hot day in Caraccas ; the air was serene, and the skies 
cloudless. It was Palm Sunday. A regiment of troops of the line 
stood under arms in the Barracks of El Quartel del San Carlos ready 
to take part in the procession, and the people were streaming to- 
wards the churches, when suddenly loud subterranean thunder was 
heard, followed by an earthquake so violent, that the Church of 
Alta Gracia, which is above 150 German feet high, and is sup- 
ported by buttresses fifteen German feet in thickness, became a mass 
of ruins six German feet in height. In the evening, the moon, 
which was almost at the full, shone with mild splendour in a cloud- 
less heaven, and cast its rays on the ruins of the principal town 
under which 10,000 of the inhabitants were buried. But neither 
here did the volcanic force succeed in obtaining an outlet. At last, 
on the 27th of April, it gained the mastery, by forcing open the 
crater of Morne Carou, which had been closed for a whole century, 
and, as far as Bio Apura, that is to say, at a distance as great as from 
Vesuvius to Paris, the thundering hymn of jubilee, entoned by the 
liberated prisoner, was heard to resound. 

The space between two meridians is an isosceles triangle, which 
has its base line resting on the equator and its points on the pole. 
The mass of air which ascends from the heated base cannot flow as 
far as the points in the ever narrowing space ; it must descend before 
reaching them. We find the upper current in the tropical regions, 
even in summer, already sunk down at the Peak of Teneriffe ; in the 
neighbourhood of the Azores, it has already reached the ground. 
Europe lies in this upper trade wind. 

As, however, the region of calms, and the whole phenomena of 
the trade winds follow the course of the sun ? so also do the places 

216 Mt teorologica I Phenomena in 

vary where the upper current descends. Places in the neighbour- 
hood of the tropics lie, consequently, for a long time under the in- 
fluence of the trade winds ; but, on the other hand, they are for a 
time entirely free from them." These places have also a dry and a 
wet season, but, with this essential difference, that the rain falls 
there when the sun is at its lowest declination. These south-west- 
erly winds bringing the rain in their train, come slowly down the 
mountains from the higher regions of the atmosphere. We see 
them clearly in the clouds which begin at the commencement of 
October to conceal the point and the Peak of Teneriffe ; then they 
descend lower and lower, till at last they lay themselves down on the 
crest of the mountain, and reveal themselves by fearful storms. 
Perhaps a week, sometimes more, passes before they reach the sea- 
coast, where they remain raging for months, during which time the 
Peak is covered with snow. In Algiers, the commencement of the 
rainy season is earlier ; and, on account of the place being more out 
of the track of the trade-winds, it lasts longer. In the south of 
Italy, the rainy season shrinks into the compass of a month ; at the 
Alps, it entirely disappears ; nor do we experience it here, where 
it rains the whole year through, and most of all in summer. But 
in Italy, also, the commencement of the rainy season, as well as the 
end of it, is marked by storms, and the quantity of water which falls 
is greatest in spring and autumn. Here, on the contrary, the ex- 
tremes of spring and autumn meet in the height of summer. Our 
rainy season, therefore, takes place, unfortunately just at the time 
when we wish to visit our watering places. St John's day fixes our 
fate ; according to the old saying, 

'• If it rains on the day of St John, 

Hope of fine harvest is over and gone." 

And in England, 

" If the first of July be stormy weather 
'Twill rain more or less four weeks together.'' 

Well ! so it is, and we must try and be thankful that in our weather 
the laws of nature are strictly observed, but still it is hard to bear. 
Yet, heaven be praised, there is no rule without an exception. 

A slight consideration, only, of this matter will shew that the de- 
scent of the upper currents cannot take place on the whole of the 
outer limits of the trade winds at one and the same time, because the 
trade wind itself must be compensated for by the air of the tempe- 
rate zones. The air which consequently flows down in one place 
into the temperate zones must be replaced at another place by an 
upward current from thence that the equilibrium may be restored. 
Thus the currents which flow over each other in the torrid zones flow 
side by side in the temperate zones, and as they sometimes change 
their relative position, the characteristic features of our weather de- 
pend on this alternate displacement of the polar and equatorial cur- 

connection with the Climate of Berlin. 217 

rents. The extremes of our weather are regulated by the unequal 
prevalence of the one or the other of these currents, which, as long- 
as they preserve a due equilibrium between each other produce 
the changeable weather which is most characteristic of our climate. 
The northern current is cold, heavy, and dry ; the southern warm, 
moist, and light ; with the former the barometer is high and the 
thermometer low, with the latter it is the reverse. I must, however, 
remark that when air flows from north to south or vice versa, its 
direction is affected by the revolution of the earth on its axis. Air 
which, for example, sets out as due north from Breslau to Vienna 
arrives there at NNE. ; it would be NE. at Vienna if it set out due 
north from Konigsberg ; ENE. if it set out from Riga ; and almost 
east if we consider it as setting out due north from St Petersburg. 
Therefore, air which has been stationary between Petersburg and 
Vienna, and is then set in motion towards the south will cause the 
vanes at Vienna to turn by degrees from north through NE. to east. 
If, on the contrary, the air has been set in motion towards the north 
and has set out from Trieste, it will arrive at Vienna as a SSW. 
wind, — if it had set out from Rome, it would have been a SW. ; 
WSW. if it had set out from Tunis ; and lastly, almost W. if its 
cradle had been situated farther towards Africa. Every current of 
air, therefore, which flows from the north becomes more easterly the 
longer it lasts, every south wind more westerly. North-east is, 
therefore, a north wind which sets out from a Greater distance, and 
south-west is a south wind setting out from a distant place. The 
coldest, heaviest, driest wind is therefore north-east, not north ; the 
moistest, lightest, warmest wind, not south, but south-west. 

The mutual struggle of the two opposing currents necessarily pro- 
duces a revolution ; under these circumstances a south wind would bo 
followed by a west wind, then by a north, then east, and lastly south 

Thaw and continued rain accompany the southern currents, — the 
most cloudless weather and severest cold come with the east wind, 
— pleasant dry weather is the most striking sign of the north cur- 
rent in summer. In September and the beginning of October, 
when this current predominates, we have, therefore, our most beauti- 
ful weather which, when it becomes strikingly warm, we call our 
back summer (after summer). But it is not so regular in the time 
of its duration as in America, where it is named the Indian summer, 
because the Indians then go to their hunting grounds, when, as they 
say, the Great Spirit sends them their summer. In November, on 
the contrary, on account of the then prevailing south current, we 
experience that very interesting form of weather which goes by the 
name of Pomeranian mists. The north current flows slowly then in 
its ever-widening bed, and therefore in the Petersburg Gazette the 
cold is already spoken of as having set in before the NE. wind 
has brought it to us. The south current, on the other hand, 

218 Meteorological Phenomena in 

is stormy, and roars as in an empty street. The Berlin newspapers 
have for that reason no influence on the wagers as to when the 
Neva will rise, for the thaw-wind outruns the posts. On account of 
the impetuosity with which the south wind presses forward into 
higher latitudes, it loses, by constantly-renewed precipitation, some 
of its moisture, especially on the southern declivities of mountains. 
Besides this precipitation there is another of an entirely different kind, 
which takes place when two opposing currents meet, In Italy the 
rule is,— 

" Non fu pioggia senza vento, 
Non fu vento senz' aqua." 

And in the south of France they say, — 

" Quand le soleil est joint au vent 
On voit en l'air pleuvoir souvent." 

This precipitation happens in two cases ; the one when the warm 
current has forced itself through the cold one, and vice versa. The 
most frequent storms, drizzling showers, and raging snow-storms, 
come with a west wind. But this kind of weather lasts, as they say, 
only a span long. It cools the air, and a cloudless succeeds to an 
overcast sky ; it is the transition from bad weather to good. The 
transition in this case takes place quickly, because the heavier cold 
wind forces itself easily into the place occupied by the warm wind. 
And on account of the cold wind being heavier than the warm wind 
which preceded it, the barometer rises during this kind of weather, 
and then wo say — the barometer is on the rise, — it will be fine wea- 
ther. Thus, too, if the cold wind forces itself in below, as it does 
into a warm room when the doors are open, it blows before it the 
clouds which it forms in its progress, and which darken the air as 
it advances through the sky. Now, in proportion as this cold 
lower current of wind is more or less directly opposed to the warm 
current, which until then had prevailed, there takes place between 
them in summer, the peculiar stillness which we term oppressive 
air. The expression, " the storm comes up against the wind," finds 
its explanation in the proverb itself. Just in proportion, then, as 
the wind gains in strength, the storm more quickly forms ; thence 
the sudden obscuration of the sky which takes place without any 
previous warning. The rain, on the other hand, which the south 
wind occasions, when it drives away the north wind, draws near 
with a south-east and south wind. It first falls on the hills, and 
then descends below, causing the barometer to fall, because the wind 
which follows it is lighter ; it is the transition from fine weather to 
cloudy. " The barometer is falling, it will be bad weather," we 
say, — the north-cast wind has gone round to south-east ; it will soon 
be south-west. At what point in the scale the barometer stands, 
signifies little, the principal thing is, if it be on the rise or the fall. 
Snow after severe cold, passing into thaw, storms which come with 

connection with the Climate of Berlin. 219 

the east wind, and which, heavy though they be, do not cool the air, 
belong to this class. Rain with a west wind consequently becomes 
snow in winter, snow with an east wind becomes rain, snow with a 
west wind and a barometer on the rise, shews an increase of cold, 
snow with an east wind and a falling barometer, shews a diminution 
of cold. The proverb " fresh snow, more cold," has its origin 
hence, for it snows more frequently with a west than with an east 
wind. Besides this, there are falls of snow, at least of thick flakes 
of snow, when the cold is not very severe ; this takes place when the 
cold northern current, having gained the predominance, drives away 
the southern current, and then no cause for precipitation any longer 
exists. The usual course of winter phenomena is as follows : — 

The south wind has prevailed for a long time with the barometer 
low ; the sky is overcast ; the air warm, with a fine drizzling rain. 
Then the wind veers round to the west ; dark masses of clouds rise 
on the western horizon, and a cold wind immediately begins to 
blow from them towards us, accompanied by thick falls of snow. 
This phenomenon repeats itself generally pretty frequently, during 
which time thin streaks of cloud may be seen through the thick 
masses floating much higher in the atmosphere from the south-west 
to the north-east. With every fresh blast of wind, the barometer 
rises suddenly, the snow freezes under our feet, the underlying strata 
of clouds retreat continually, at least they are torn up into strips 
and then disappear, when the weather vanes point due north. The 
sky becomes cloudless, the fight is at an end ; its results shew them- 
selves in bright slides on the ground ; the air is wonderfully trans- 
parent, and it is only by the smoke which floats upwards from the 
chimneys that the sky is momentarily clouded ; the cold now becomes 
intense, every one hastens his steps over the crackling snow ; the 
north wind has conquered, perhaps for weeks together the vanes 
point unchangingly towards the north-east. But at last comes the 
south wind on the scene, and, because of its lightness, it flows above 
the north wind, and appears in the clear blue heavens as fine streaks 
of cloud, such as we appropriately term Wind baume (wind trees). 
The barometer remarks the gentle southlander and falls, although 
the weather vanes have not as yet perceived its presence, and steadily 
point as before to the north-east. But with still increased perse- 
verance does the south wind press down on the east wind ; the strips 
of cloud become denser, and appear as a milk-white covering, and 
a great halo round the moon shews itself as a sure sign of bad 
weather according to the lines : — 

" The hollow winds begin to blow, 

The clouds look black, the glass is low ; 
Last night the sun went pale to bed, 
The moon in halos hid her head, 
'Twill surely rain." 

It begins next to snow with a south-east wind, the barometer sinks 

220 Meteorological Phenomena in 

more and more, the wind becomes south, it rains, it is now south- 
west, and our short winter has passed by in order to be followed by 
a like set of phenomena. Farther towards the north, snow does not 
become rain with a south wind. There the snow of the whole 
winter does not thaw, but forms large masses ; the sledge paths, too, 
are never broken up by thaw ; every vehicle is changed into a sledge, 
and the frozen river becomes a highway. In these countries, there 
is a decided jump into winter weather, a jump which distinguishes a 
Konigsbcrg from a Berlin winter. If the south wind presses on 
with stormy quickness, then sleet falls, that is to say, drops of rain 
which have been frozen in their descent. The summits of the 
mountains, in such a case, are seen to thaw, whilst it is still bitterly 
cold in the valleys below. "The Fohn (south wind) drives the cold 
into the valley," the Tyrolese say. U\ on the contrary, the warm 
and cold currents meet together, then the mixture of warm and cold 
air only takes place on the limits of contact of both currents. Thick 
mists in this instance are formed with the barometer high, because 
the northern current dams itself up as it were against the warm 
opposing south current. The two winds drive one another backwards 
and forwards. " They are fighting together," the sailors say, and 
thus we often pass from the limits of contact back again into the 
cold current, that is to say, the thick mist often disappears suddenly, 
and is again as quickly back again. 

The most superficial observation shews that the weather is less 
variable in winter than in summer. In winter lasting; cloudiness 
alternates with lasting brightness ; whereas in summer entirely 
overcast and cloudless days are very rare. The reason of this is a 
double one. If I travel in winter, from Berlin to Moscow, I find 
a marked difference in the temperature ; in July, on the contrary, it 
is almost equally warm in both cities. For the winds which do not 
come from any great distance lose their peculiarities, so that from 
whatever points of the compass they may blow they bring with 
them air of equal warmth. It is not till the winds are at rest that 
the influence of the soil first tells on the atmosphere in all its signi- 
ficance, an influence which, when it was entirely covered by snow, had 
wholly disappeared. The moisture which, rising from cool woods 
and meadows, is condensed into a cloud, is entirely dissipated by a 
warm surface of land. Hence those manifold masses of clouds 
which, in single separate masses, with a level base and dazzling 
hemisphere, float over the blue heavens, ar.d impart such ever- 
varying beauty to a landscape when contemplated from a height. 
How delighted are we when, after having been long deprived of this 
beautiful sight, we see once more in spring these glowing cupolas 
towering up like mountains from the horizon, for they are a sure sign 
that winter is come at last. In summer, the clouds are in general 
nothing more than an image of the ground projected on the sky, 
and in proportion as the landscape is diversified by meadows, rocks, 

connection with the Climate of Berlin. 221 

and woods, hills and valleys, so much the more beautiful is the sky. 
Hence, on the northern declivity of the Russian Biesen Giberge 
and over the fruitful plains of Silesia, the summer heaven is much 
more beautiful than over the Markischen Heideland. The prac- 
tised eye of the Indian traces in the sky the course of a river 
in countries where from the absence of civilisation no artificial means 
have been at work to modify the natural diversity of the ground, 
and it is clear that as a rank vegetation generates rain which again 
in its turn nourishes the soil, so an injudicious destruction of woods 
often destroys irrevocably the fertility of the soil. Here the periods 
of the day Lave each their significance. As soon as the sun rises, 
the morning clouds ascend like pillars of smoke out of the valleys, 
but soon disappear in the increasing temperature. Towards noon, 
they again appear in the sky like a thin veil, or sometimes they re- 
semble flocks of sheep according to the English saying, 

If woolly fleeces strew the heavenly way, 
Be sure no rain disturbs the summer day. 

In the south of Europe, on the contrary, the clouds which bring 
wind to us take the form of sheep, and it is from this circumstance 
the following proverb takes its origin, 

Brehis qui paraissent es-cieux, 
Font temps pluvieux ou venteux. 

According to Virgil and Aratus the 6i vellera lanee" are a sign of 

But to return to our subject. If the ascending current of air is 
protected against lateral currents by high mountain walls, or rises 
from a valley in which an alpine lake is situated, then as often as for 
fourteen days together a storm takes place at noon, as on the Lago 
Maggiore and the Lake of Oomo, because the cold current seizes on 
the warm air at the moment it rises above the mountains. The 
like phenomena characterise the rainy season in the region of calms. 
Thus, at a stated period of the day, a storm regularly begins in 
those climates, so that the Brazilian ladies do not, like those in 
Berlin, invite their friends to tea and coffee, but request the plea- 
sure of their company '* before or after the storm." In the even- 
ing, the contrary process takes place, the gradually cooling air loses 
its expansive power, the clouds sink down on the mountain, and are 
again dissipated in the warm air. This clearing up is not, however, 
a sign of lasting fine weather, according to the French proverb, 

" Temps qui fait beau la nuit — 
Dure peu quand le jour luit." 

The spectacle of the dissipation of the clouds at the sotting of the 
sun, enlivens a walk amidst even the most solitary scenery. The 
air becomes transparent — and every form is sharply defined against 
the clear sky. And if the moon should chance to shine in the 
VOL. LIV. NO. CVII1.— APRIL 1853. Q 

222 Meteorological Phenomena in 

cloudless heavens, the scene becomes so beautiful that it drives all 
thoughts of meteorology out of one's head. 

The difference in the configuration of a country has also a mo- 
difying effect on all the phenomena connected with this ascending 
current of air. Under this class of phenomena may be chiefly 
reckoned the rain precipitation which takes place more regularly 
at certain times of the day than at others. Thus, for one thunder 
or hail storm which takes place at four o'clock in the morning, 
sixty-seven come on at two o'clock in the afternoon. Great and 
magnificent as these phenomena appear, they are still only local, and, 
therefore, the per-centage of the Hail Insurance Company varies 
for different provinces. A hail-storm is seldom more than half a 
mile in breadth — a small, desolating strip. Snow falls in winter, sleet 
in spring, hail in summer. The warmth of the atmosphere decreases 
now, however, from below upwards. This is why snow in the 
higher regions takes the form of sleet whilst falling, to which, when it 
has descended into the warmer and lower strata, a transparent crust 
of ice is added. Whilst pieces of nearly a pound weight are falling, 
a lateral whirlwind, which apparently comes in an oblique direction 
and continues warm for some time, mingles the moist lower air and 
the cold upper air together. 

In Berlin, even, we have tolerably severe hail-storms now and then. 
Our weather is, however, better in this respect than it has the cha- 
racter of being. Why, then, has it gained such an ill name ? 

A distinguished foreigner visited Berlin in the year 1767, and was 
invited by Frederick the Great to San Souci. " Of what do they talk 
in Berlin ?" asked the King. " That your Majesty is arming, and 
that there will be war," was the reply. In order, therefore, to give 
a different turn to the conversation of the metropolis, the King com- 
manded a report to be drawn up of a severe hail-storm at Potsdam, 
which was to be copied into the Berlin newspapers, with directions to 
take no refutation. The reporter laid on his colours pretty thick. 
Masses of ice of the size of a pumpkin had fallen ; all the windows 
had been shattered ; a brewer had had his arm broken ; and one of two 
oxen yoked to a waggon had been killed. On the arrival of the Ber- 
lin newspapers at Potsdam — where there had been most beautiful wea- 
ther during the whole time — astonishment and vexation laid hold of 
every body's mind ; the neighbourhood rose as one man, seized pen 
in hand, and protested solemnly to the contrary of what had been 
stated. Never had the posts in Berlin received so many letters ; each 
of them asserting that everything was going on as usual in Potsdam, 
that nothing extraordinary had taken place, no windows had been 
shattered, no one's arm broken, no living being killed. But none of 
these letters were published ; the news was copied into all the papers, 
and the King's design had perfect success. Everywhere the hail- 
storm, and nothing but the hail-storm, formed the subject of conver- 
sation. As the report was never contradicted, it was transcribed into 
all the scientific compendiums of the day; for at that time people 

connection with the Climate of Berlin. 223 

were still possessed by the extraordinary idea that everything con- 
tained in a newspaper must be true. 

We must riot, however, over-estimate the influence of the configu- 
ration of the ground and of the soil. They may, indeed, foretell or 
decide the course of a storm, but they cannot retard continued rain. 
For even in summer the currents of air are the peculiar precursors, 
only in very different forms at different seasons of the year ; forms 
however which are all related to each other. If the south wind in 
winter rushes very suddenly, and with great force, towards the north, 
it often announces itself by a magnificent storm, as it did in Decem- 
ber 1839, when the sky seemed to be rent open by the lightning, and 
crackling peals of thunder resounded every moment. Unusual warmth 
is ushered in with storms like these. Later on, the south wind ap- 
pears in the form of the gentle messenger of spring, beneath whose 
soft breath nature awakes from her heavy sleep, as out of a long 
dream, and wakes us with her. The strife between the two currents 
then becomes animated, for winter disputes every inch of the ground. 
The cold days " die gestrengen Herren," those hard masters who 
slew the orangery at St Louis are sent as its last despairing efforts. 
In summer, the south wind often blows suddenly as out of a fiery 
oven, and roars furiously around. I remember the passionate raging 
of this wind during last summer, when it tore off the zinc roof from 
the Anhalt Tower, and by the manner in which .the trees were rooted 
up in the Thier Garten, it clearly shewed its power — a storm be- 
neath whose raging, Germany's most honoured tree, " The beech of 
Luther," was torn up and destroyed. I do not know where the 
cradle of this storm was situated, but the newspapers told us that 
it came over the Alps, so that, at all events, it was not a German 
wind which was guilty of such crimes. 

We can, however, often trace such storms as these to their origin. 
They are generally parts of the upper trade winds which, descend- 
ing too early, come into contact with the lower currents and occa- 
sion those fearful whirlwinds of the Tropics, the influence of which 
is felt even in the temperate zones. 

In Emmenthal they have an old legend, that a gigantic serpent 
lay concealed in the caves of the Hohgant, and that for centuries it 
had never left its abode, till at last it burst forth suddenly with fear- 
ful rage. We easily recognize in this gigantic serpent the mountain 
torrent, which, suddenly swollen by clouds, rushed down into the wind- 
ings of the valley. Since then nothing more had been heard of the 
monster, until in August 1837 it again broke forth with such fearful 
violence that masses of rock of 60 cwt. were hurled before it. The 
beautiful tale of the " Wassers noth im Emmenthal, by the author 
of the "Bauern Spiegels," contains a striking description of this great 
physical phenomenon. But what was it that had scared away the 
monster from his cave ? A storm of wind from the West India 
islands. And what a storm ! On the 2d of August 1837, the har- 

Q 2 

224 Meteorological Phenomena in 

boar-master at Porto Rico announced to the captains of ships l)ing 
at anchor, at ahout four o'clock p.m., that they must prepare for a 
storm, as the barometer was falling rapidly. But all precautions were 
in vain. Of the 33 ships lying' at anchor not one could be saved from 
shipwreck, for so great was the violence of the wind that in St Bar- 
tholomew alone 250 buildings were thrown down. The destruction 
was still more fearful on the Island of St Thomas, where the wrecks 
of 36 ships strewed the harbour ; the fort at the entrance of the port 
was shattered as if by a battery, 24-pounders were carried away by 
the wind ; a large well-built house was torn up from its foundations, 
and set down upright in the middle of the street, whilst others were 
turned right upside-down. That smiling tropical heaven plays also 
tricks of its own. 

In so far as the history of the world mirrors itself in the events of 
the most insignificant places, so also the history of the weather is 
contained in the meteorological phenomena of every single station 
of observation. The reports kept at these places form the chronicles 
of a general history of the weather ; but as we cannot grasp all the 
threads of the world's history by the consideration of any one isolated 
event, so we cannot arrive at the understanding of all the manifold 
and closely connected phenomena of the atmosphere by means of 
observations made at any one place alone. Only out of the associa- 
tion and comparison of separate reports can be determined what is 
settled and what is variable, for the errors made by a single observer 
often make a phenomenon appear enigmatical, which by taking the 
total of observations respecting it would at once be rendered clear. 
If from the consideration of the phenomena of our weather we have 
arrived at the conclusion that they represent the continually renewed 
strife of two opposing currents, it follows that what is revealed by the 
regular succession of phenomena in one place must be revealed in a 
clearer and more direct manner if we bring under our consideration 
simultaneous and widely diffused observations. The power, the direc- 
tion, and the strife of the two currents will in such a case be clearly 
represented. If, for example, we desire to settle the usual charac- 
teristics of the weather at any particular time, then by proceeding in 
the direction of these currents', we shall find either the maximum or 
the minimum of the normal temperature. If, on the contrary, we 
proceed in a direction more or less at right angles to the currents, 
then, somewhere or other where they meet and intersect each other, 
we shall pass from the warm air of the Equatorial into the icy air of 
the Polar current. If the currents meet one another, then this op- 
position in their direction comes into play. Next, we shall perceive 
that while the opposing currents flow simultaneously beside each other, 
the same peculiarities of weather are scarcely ever common to the 
whole hemisphere ; that the extremes in near and in distant coun- 
tries arc always compensated for, and the equilibrium maintained ; 
and that a mild European winter is made up for by a cold one in 

connection ivith the Climate of Berlin. 225 

America or Asia. Thus the same amount of temperature is always 
preserved, and local luxury is elsewhere atoned for by biting poverty. 

In this last particular a very great difference exists between the 
relative temperature of Europe on the one side and of America and 
Asia on the other. The temperature of the winter of 1821-22, and 
the January of 1834, was apparently only so strikingly high on ac- 
count of America and Asia having then such severe winters. In 
December 1829, the greatest proportional cold was felt at Berlin. It 
was also very remarkable at Kasan, but at Irkutsk the weather was 
mild, and America was favoured with an extraordinary degree of 
warmth. The celebrated winter of 1794-95, which was famed for 
the conquest of Holland, was mild in America, as well as that of 
1809 ; whilst in Europe, the strikingly mild winters of 1793-94 and 
1795-96 fell much below the mean temperature in America ; and 
the warm European winter of 1790-91 was compensated for by a 
cold one in America. E^ede has remarked the same tiling? of Green- 
land ; and the Danes have observed that if the winter has been severo 
in Denmark, the Greenland winter has been mild, and vice versa. 
These remarks apply to Copenhagen also, in connection with Iceland, 
and to such an extent that the exportation of goods from Denmark to 
that island is, in some measure, guided by it. 

If the limits of the two currents fall towards Europe, then the 
usual weather shews itself here, whilst the extremes lie on both sides 
of it. Thus, in February 1828, Europe enjoyed a mean tempera- 
ture between the extreme cold of Kasan and Irkutsk, and the mild 
winter of America. On the other hand, when the opposing cur- 
rents become due east and due west, America, Europe, and Asia 
belong to the same system of weather, whilst the oppositions take 
place in the direction of north and south. Thus, in December 1802, 
the greatest degree of cold was felt in central Europe, but it was also 
cold in Asia and America, whilst in Scandinavia the temperature had 
risen. On the contrary, during the mild March of 1822, a decrease 
of temperature took place in the south, whilst it was raised in the 
north of Europe. In the cold autumn of 1820, the warm places lay 
on the north-west of Europe ; during the severe winter of 1799, in 
Greenland; and during the mild winter of 1824-25, first on the 
north and then on the south of Europe. These oppositions charac- 
terizing the north and south are also occasioned by a north and south 
current meeting each other. In the December of 1808, for example, 
cold weather prevailed in Europe from Torneo to Palermo, which de- 
creased towards the west, and was not experienced in America. In 
the January of 1809, a very mild temperature distinguished the outh 
of Europe, whilst the cold, the diffusion of which was apparently ob- 
structed towards the south by south winds, was on that account more 
strongly concentrated in the north of Europe, and was increasingly 
felt in the direction of Berlin, Dantzic, Stockholm, and Torneo. The 
increase of warmth was now felt in a westerly direction, and became 

226 Meteorological Phenomena in 

remarkable, first in Scotland, and then in America. In February, 
the warmth advanced from the south up to Berlin, and as far as 
Dantzic, and the cold was moderate in Sweden. In March it took 
ground again towards the south, then Dantzic and Berlin were brought 
once more under its dominion. At last it prevailed again in April 
over the whole of Southern Europe, but was not proportionably felt in 
America. If northerly currents are, however, the principal cause of 
the lowering of the temperature in the winter, still the place where 
the greatest relative cold prevails, especially in the spring, is not 
dependent on that cause alone. The pressure of a southerly current 
through a northern one is, as a rule, associated with a heavy fall of 
snow, which takes place in the higher mountains also, during the 
prevalence of the southern current. Then the masses of snow which 
have been heaped up on the heights during the winter form a centre 
of refrigeration when the spring has already commenced in the plains 
below, and occasion frequent returns of cold. The cold air then dis- 
charges itself in the form of cataracts and waterfalls, which pour down 
the sides of the Alps. One may easily trace this cold in Berlin, 
where it arrives, for example, with a south wind. Those who dwell 
in the plac3 where this cold reaches its maximum, form an exagge- 
rated idea of the extremes if they do not take into consideration the 
diffusion of warmth in other places. Thus, in the Berlin papers the 
winter of 1823-24 w : as mentioned with great emphasis as a hitherto 
unheard-of occurrence. It was certainly severe, but it was felt 
only near Berlin, and the weather was much milder in the south of 
Germany. The atmosphere took very little note of the ideas enter- 
tained by many Berlin writers, that it must have been general. For, 
when with its proud waves it flowed over the Alps, was it likely, they 
thought, that its progress should be stopped by the walls of our city ? 
The winter of 1740 was also very severe, as well as that of 1840, 
in which it solemnised its jubilee. Such isolated extremes as these 
deceive the judgment for a long time ; and it was an instance of 
the same kind, occurring in the climate of France during the war, 
which gave our troops, who made acquaintance with the country when 
it was experiencing an accidental degree of cold, much too unfavour- 
able an idea of its climate. They judged of it by the severe winter 
of 1813-14. The opposite errors are committed by German travel- 
lers, who go into Italy to winter, and needlessly expose themselves 
to the bitter cold of Lombardy. No one could wish that every tra- 
veller should be transformed into a meteorologist, still every one ought 
to know that January is colder in Milan than on the west coast of 

If extremes of weather have prevailed for a long time during win- 
ter, then as the sun's power increases with the advancing season, the 
spring has already begun in the countries which had a mild winter; 
whilst in places where the severest cold had prevailed, the temperature 
has not risen much above the freezing point, and the increased warmth 

connection with the Climate of Berlin, 227 

is spent in melting away the winter's ice and snow. The warm air 
must, however, before long successfully oppose the pressure of the 
cold air, the return of which will only be the more sudden, the more 
suddenly the warmth has increased. In such cases as these the 
spring is unpleasantly distinguished by frequent transitions from 
warm to very severe weather. It is on this circumstance the proverb 
is founded which foretells a white Easter from a green Christmas. 
Hence, too, the English couplet — 

" If the grass grow in Janevier, 
It grows the worse for all the year." 

And the still more decided one — 

" If Janevier calends be summerly gay, 
'Twill be winterly weather till th' calends of May." 

In Italy, too, they say — 

" Quando Gennajo mette erba, 
Si tu hai grano, e tu lo serba." 

The warmth in the south of Germany 1839, and afterwards in 
Northern Germany in December, was so great, that people wrote from 
Munich that they had never till then expected to see the description 
of an old chronicle realised, that young maidens had come to Church 
on Christmas eve with roses in their hair. But how soon was this 
dream dissipated. The icy wind, beneath whose deadly breath those 
early flowers bloomed, blew from the Salz-steppes, between the Cas- 
pian and Oral Seas, from the country which the Kirgisites call the 
Valley of Death, and from the coast, of Emba, where the Russian 
expedition to China came to a halt in a cold of 40° F. below zero. 
The cold then experienced was more severely felt on account of its 
having been preceded by an unusual degree of warmth. In any other 
year the result of the expedition might have been very different. It 
is a remarkable thing, that the same power of nature which had ob- 
structed the designs of Russia stopped Napoleon's proud career. And 
it is still the same Gorgon shield which prevents the West from press- 
ing forward into the immoveable East. The cold current does not, 
however, always lie towards the East. The winter of 1834-35 gives 
a striking example of this. 

The greatest observed cold at Berlin in January, February, and 
March, was 18 0, 5 Fahr. ; the medium temperature of these three 
months was however 30°-875, 27°'5, and 22°-25 Fahr. ; and what is 
still more striking, not ten days followed each other consecutively dur- 
ing this period, the mean temperature of which fell below the freezing 
point. That this phenomenon was occasioned by a southern current 
is therefore clear, the most significant wind of the north current, the 
NE., not having been once observed from the 1st of January to the 
18th of March. During this time such a fearful degree of cold pre- 
vailed in America, that at the beginning of January the harbours of 

228 Meteorological Phenomena. 

Boston, Portland, New Bury, New Haven, Philadelphia, Baltimore, 
and Washington, were frozen over ; and on the 3d, when the ther- 
mometer at Berlin stood all day and night above the freezing point, 
carts passed over the frozen Potomac. 

The cold Easter of the year 1835 must be still in the remem- 
brance of every one. Thick falls of snow gave a very winterly 
look to Good Friday, on the Banks of the Ilhine, from Bonn to 
Mavencc, although the peach and cherry trees were covered with 
blossom. In Berlin the wind blew from the SW., but without any 
snow. Generally the weather was much more stormy on the banks 
of the Bhine than at Berlin. It was still worse in England, where 
the cold set in on the Wednesday evening. It snowed as in Decem- 
ber, and froze on the open plains during the daytime ; the blossom, 
too, was much injured, for this severe cold had been preceded by 
beautiful spring weather. The waggons which entered London from 
the north on Good Friday were covered with snow. An unusual de- 
gree of cold was also universally felt in Italy. It was more severe in 
westerly countries than in the east, for it came from the west. Such 
phenomena as these repeat themselves generally after some time with 
diminished strength, then they suddenly cease, and winter is finally 

If it be supposed that a cold winter always follows a hot summer, 
it is as much as to say that the current which flowed over the place 
of observation during the summer would flow in the same direction 
during the winter. That certainly would be much to gain from a 
current that is never arbitrarily confined to one bed. 

During the hot summer of 1822, there was no ice to be had in 
Berlin, for the preceding winter had been so mild that they had not 
been able to collect any. The years 1811-19-22-34, which are 
celebrated as good vintage years, were preceded by mild winters or 
springs. On the contrary, the cold which lasted from January to 
June 1815, was followed by a period of scarcity of which Western 
Europe will long retain the remembrance. It was then that Odessa, 
which during that time enjoyed the mild temperature of Eastern 
Europe, became celebrated for its commerce ; its annual exports of 
grain, from 1815 to 1817, increasing from 11 to 38 millions of 
roubles. The relative extreme of cold was experienced during that 
year in England, and America had also its share in the decrease of 
temperature. The west of Europe, therefore, looked to the east as a 
general source of supply during that period. The repetition of these 
relations in connection with England during the years 1837-38, 
during which time East Prussia had favourable weather, stands in 
direct association with the briskness of the discussion on the Corn-law 
question, for the more unshackled the commercial intercourse of na- 
tions becomes, so much the more impossible is it that a famine should 
take place ; the trading resources of a country where scarcity prevails 
being used as the means of obtaining supplies from a country dis- 
tinguished for temporary abundance. 


On Glacial Phenomena in Scotland and Parts of England.* 
By Robert Chambers, Esq. F.R.S.E. Communicated by 
the Author. 

The subject of ancient glacial phenomena having been 
much before the public a few years ago, I must entreat the 
Society to believe that I should not have sought their atten- 
tion to it again, if I had not during the last three years seen 
reason to believe that it has as yet been but imperfectly pre- 
sented, and that English geologists in general have arrived 
at conclusions regarding it which cannot be maintained. 

It would detain us too long, and be in a great measure la- 
bour thi'own away, to renew the combat with those who think 
that diluvial action in any form is sufficient to account for the 
phenomena in question. 1 can scarcely even pause to argue 
with those who hold that floating ice is the only agent re- 
quired in the case. If the gentlemen who abide by such 
doctrines would examine the action of an existing glacier in 
the Alps, they would find that the effect upon the subjacent 
rocks is absolutely the same with the appearances of what 
are called polished and striated surfaces in these islands, 
where glaciers do not now exist. If they were to travel 
through Norway and Sweden, they would see such an extent 
of surface abraded, and an uniformity of striation observed 
over such large areas, that so light, partial, and irregular an 
action as that of floating masses of ice would appear totally 
inadequate to account for the effects. It need scarcely be 
insisted on, that opponents of theory are as much bound as 
theorists themselves to observe the ordinary rules of science, 
— namely, to argue on the unknown from the known, to look 
more carefully to distinctions than to resemblances, and to 
give no presumed agent too much to do. Now, I have seen 
what I consider an ice-polished surface crossed by a small 
runnel of water carrying minute gravel, and it was clearly 
observable that where the water crossed, the surface was 
changed, — became rougher and dimmer, something like the 
difference between chased and polished goldsmiths' work. I 
have examined the rocky beds of many mountain streams 

* Read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dec. G and 20, 1852. 

230 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

accustomed to bring down all sizes of gravel, but never found 
in any instance those flowing outlines of abrasion which we 
see in the so-called glacial surfaces. There is a palpable 
enough difference, moreover between the confused masses of 
mud and sand, mingled with rounded blocks, which are found 
in connection with polished surfaces, and the sorted materials, 
gravel, sand, and clay, which are indisputably attributed to 
watery action. I cannot entertain any doubt that, had these 
specialties in the respective effects of the two agents been 
carefully looked to, we should have had much less contro- 
versy on this subject, and we should by this time have arrived 
at results much more satisfactory. 

With minds rightly prepared by observation of what ice 
actually does in the countries where it now works, I could 
no more expect to see these differences overlooked, than to 
find in ordinary life men attributing saw-dust to the action 
of a plane, or chips to the operation of a saw. As for ice- 
bergs, they have doubtless played a part, if not in the abra- 
sion of rocks, at least in some of the associated phenomena 
of the superficial deposits; but to attribute to them the whole 
phenomena is utterly unwarrantable. If any man were to 
say, that because he can w 7 ith some difficulty smooth a rough 
surface of wood with his thumb-nail, therefore his dining- 
tables must have been fashioned and polished by the joiner 
with that little instrument alone, I would consider him as 
advancing a theory fully as tenable as that which consists 
in attributing all the so-called glacial phenomena to ice- 
bergs. It is really, however, no want of charity to say that 
much of the opposition to glacial theories arises from an in- 
adequate acquaintance with the phenomena of smoothed rocks 
and the various deposits laid over them, and an over-faithful 
attachment to, or misapplication of, certain theories of older 

Ancient Moraines connected with Corries or small Valleys. 

When proofs of ancient glacial action in Scotland were 
first looked for in 1840 by M. Agassiz and Dr Buckland, a 
great number of ancient moraines were announced in the 
middle and southern districts, as well as in the Highlands. 
There cannot, however, be the least doubt that both of these 

in Scotland and Paris of England, 231 

observers were misled by the novel features of our superfi- 
cial formations, and in many instances mistook for results 
of glacial action what were in reality alluvial accumulation s 3 
most of them being those ancient deltas of mountain streams 
which are so often found where narrow side glens join the 
principal valleys. 

Amongst the contemporary observations of Sir Charles 
Lyell, two objects are cited, which answer so entirely to the 
character of ancient terminal moraines that I cannot doubt 
their being of that character. They occur in the small ele- 
vated valleys on the skirts of the Grampians, which contain 
the Lochs Whorral and Brandy. " Loch Brandy," says Sir 
Charles, " is surrounded on three sides by lofty precipices of 
gneiss, while on the south it is bounded only by an enormous 
accumulation of sand, mud, and fragments of rocks, evidently 
derived from the cliffs which overhang the lake on the east, 
north, and west." We only can account for an accumula- 
tion of such a kind in such a position by supposing the action 
of a small local glacier. The two lochs are 1500 feet above 
the sea. Professor Ramsay has lately discovered lakes in 
North Wales formed by dams which he believes to be ancient 
moraines ; and Mr Darwin has described similar objects as 
occurring in South America. 

Professor J. D. Forbes' s Observations on the Cuchullin Hills, 
published in 1845, included descriptions of the general glacial 
phenomena of that district, which are certainly of a most 
striking character, the whole central valley, in which Loch 
Coruisk lies, being shaven bare and striated, with a vast 
number of blocks scattered over the surface, many of them 
in situations where ice alone could have placed them. Yet 
it is remarkable that no true moraine exists in this glen ; 
that is to say, no train or ridge of the rough detrital matter 
marking the sides or skirts of an ancient glacier. Professor 
Forbes describes one true and unmistakeable moraine as 
forming " an elongated semi-oval'' round the mouth of a deep 
corry on the outside (westward) of the Cuchullin group. He 
also adverts, in less confident terms, to something of the 
same kind at the mouth of the Corry-na-briech, — a short ab- 
rupt valley, likewise looking outwards to the north-west, — . 

232 R. Chambers, Esq.. on Glacial Phenomena 

where, however, I failed to trace any object which realised 
to my mind the idea of a true moraine. When our associate 
Mr Maclarcn, in 1849, gave us his accurate summary of Gla- 
cial Phenomena in Scotland, he justly remarked the rarity 
of ancient moraines ; but he next year described to the Bri- 
tish Association an object which he thought might prove to 
be of that kind, which he had found in Glen Messan, a small 
valley connected with the Holy Loch, on the Firth of Clyde. 

Such may be said to be the present posture of this branch 
of our subject. I have now to enumerate a few ancient 
moraines which have come under my own attention in Scot- 

To the eastward of the Cuchullin group, and divided from 
it only by Glen Sligachan, a wild valley full of polished and 
striated surfaces, is the lofty mountain called Ben-Blaven. 
A short abrupt valley, called Corry-hashtel, cleaves its south 
side, terminating at the sea near the farm-house of Camus- 
unary. About half way down this corry, on its west side, 
commences a long train of blocks, in three separate and dis- 
tinct lines, followed farther down by three ridges of blocks 
mingled with mud, forming, beyond all question, the lateral 
moraines of an ancient glacier which had descended through 
Corry-hashtel, the outer line being the chronicle of its great- 
est magnitude, the second marking its limit after it had 
shrunk, and the third indicating its final condition. Another 
and still ruder corry, descending the east side of Ben-Blaven, 
with the lower summit of Garravine on the right, presents 
at its mouth two or three distinct ridges of blocks mingled 
with mud, which have evidently been the terminal moraines 
of a glacier once filling that corry, and which had experienced 
a similar shrinking. In this corry I found striated rocks. 

In the savage alpine district extending along the west 
coast of Ross and Sutherlandshire, moraines of this kind are 
not uncommon. Indeed, in most of the high valleys of this 
desolate tract, we find rude masses of detrital matter which 
have evidently come, by means of glacial action, from the 
neighbouring hill sides ; but I propose to specify only those 
which take an unmistakeably moraine form. On the south 
portion of the lofty old red sandstone hills of Applecross, 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 233 

there is a short but deep valley issuing upon the road, about 
three miles from Keeshorn. At the mouth of the valley, and 
near its rivulet, large spaces of bare rock are polished and 
striated, the stride being from N. 30° W., and thus conform- 
able, as is customary, to the major axis of the valley. Round 
the mouth of this valley are curving ridges forming true 

In the valley in which Applecross House is situated, lumps, 
lines, and cones of similar detritus, generally bristling with 
large blocks, are scattered over a wide surface, and I found 
amongst these one decided set of curving ridges, having the 
concave of the curve turned in the most significant manner 
to a deep lofty recess in the side of the glen. These I con- 
sider as true moraines, the product of a glacier formed at 
some remote period in Corry Glas, the recess pointed to. 

North of Loch Broom, on the west coast of Ross-shire, is 
a huge mountain named Ben More Coigach, of a triangular 
form, and having very precipitous sides. In a deep dark 
valley to the north of this mountain, a scene of extraordinary 
sterility and rudeness, I found a striking collection of hum- 
mocks and ridges of detrital matter, with some huge blocks 
perched on the summits of rocky eminences. At one deep 
precipitous corry towards the east, there was a regular curv- 
ing ridge of detritus, rough with blocks, having the concave 
side of the curve turned towards the corry, from which it is 
not more than a quarter of a mile distant. This I also con- 
sider as a true moraine. 

In Assynt, Sutherlandshire, the eastern slope of the 
mountain Canisp extends in a tolerably straight line for 
several miles from the east end of the loch. At two places 
there are slight hollows in the line of slope, and apropos to 
these there are moraines in the valley below, filling its 
breadth of a quarter of a mile, but partially demolished by 
the rivulet which seeks its way amongst them. In both of 
the hollows, the white quartz rock is polished, with strue 
pointed straight down hill, clearly the effect of the glaciers 
which deposited the moraines. What strikingly affiliates 
the moraines or detrital ridges to the recesses in Canisp is 
the fact, that the outermost lines lie close under the limestone 

234 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

cliff on the other side of the valley, but nevertheless contain 
only masses of quartz derived from Canisp. 

The only other detrital phenomenon of the kind here ad- 
verted to which I have to mention, is one in Glen Messan, a 
branch of the greater valley, containing the Holy Loch, in 
Argyleshire. Not far from the mouth of this glen, close 
above a place called Coruisk, where another branch glen joins 
it, there is a lofty mound of detrital matter, smooth in the 
surface, and covered with turf, forming a sort of barrier 
across the valley, but leaving an opening at the north ex- 
tremity, through which runs the little river Messan. This, 
1 suppose, is the moraine which Mr Maclaren introduced to 
the notice of the British Association in 1850. I do not pre- 
sume to decide about the actual history of this remarkable 
and singular object, but would merely remark that some 
caution will be necessary before deciding that it is the mo- 
raine of a glacier which has descended Glen Messan, as, con- 
sidering its relative situation, and remembering similar ob- 
jects in the valleys of the Alps, it may be the left lateral 
moraine of the glacier of the branch glen which issues into 
Glen Messan close by. However this may be, there is an 
example of the true moraine in Glen Messan, about the 
origin of which there can be no mistake. It occurs at a place 
called Stronlonaig, about three miles above Coruisk. There 
is here a corry on the south side of the glen, a rude savage 
recess, enlivened only by a tumbling torrent. In the bottom 
of the glen, two short lines of moraine matter curve towards 
the mouth of the corry, but at such a distance that no watery 
action connected with the corry could account for them. 
Besides, between the ridges and the mouth of the corry, there 
is a talus of gravel, the separate and characteristic result of 
such watery action, and evidently of later origin. In short, 
there has first been a glacier in this corry, descending into 
Glen Messan, and leaving there two terminal moraines in 
succession ; afterwards, this has passed away, and been suc- 
ceeded by the present system of things, during which the 
rivulet has formed a talus of debris circumscribed by the 
inner moraine. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 235 

Ancient Glaciers in Limited Mountain Districts. 

A short excursion in the Lake District of the North of 
England in April 1852, satisfied me that that district had 
been the seat of local glaciers, each of which moved down 
its respective valley, and I have since found that Mr Mac- 
laren came to the same conclusion from what he observed 
in the same region in 1850. A few stray glacial phenomena 
had been previously observed in the district by Dr Buckland, 
Professor Phillips, Mr Bryce, and others. 

Overlooking Skiddaw and Saddleback, which stand com- 
paratively isolated, the mountains of the Lake Country form 
two or three centres of peculiar elevation, from which the 
valleys containing the lakes take their origin. The principal 
centre is at Scafell and Bowfell, from which Borrowdale 
descends to the north, the valley of Coniston Lake to the 
south, and Wastdale to the west, while to the south-east 
descend various minor vales which meet at the head of Gras- 
mere, and are continued in the great valley of Windermere. 
The vale containing Thirlmere also has its head in this clus- 
ter of mountains. Another centre is formed by Kirk stone 
Fell, Rydal Head, and Helvellyn, whence descend the valley 
containing Ulleswater on the one hand, and the vales of 
Rydal and Kent on the other. Between the vales which 
meet at Grasmere, and that containing Thirlmere, there is a 
valley of passage, the summit of which at Dunmail Raise is 
760 feet above the level of the sea. 

In all of these valleys which have been examined by Mr 
Maclaren and myself, namely Borrowdale, the Ulleswater 
valley, those of Thirlmere, Grasmere, Windermere, and Kent, 
we have found unequivocal memorials of ancient glaciers 
descending in them respectively. 

The chief of these memorials are prominent masses of rock 
by the sides of the valley, presenting rounded and polished 
surfaces towards its head, with rough faces downwards, the 
polished surfaces being farther grooved and striated in the 
direction of the valley, whatever that may be. Rocks so 
marked are particularly conspicuous near the site of the 
famous BoNvderstone in Borrowdale. The lofty hummock on 

236 11. Chambers. Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

which that large mass has fallen from its parent cliff above, 
is itself partially abraded and smoothed by ancient ice. 
Various prominent masses at Lodore, at Grange, and on the 
west side of Derwentwater Lake, are in the same condition, 
none, however, so strikingly so as a platform of flat bare rock 
near the bridge at Grange, extending to the length of forty- 
two paces, and still retaining its original glassy polish and 
striation, notwithstanding its being subject to much wearing, 
in consequence of its proximity to a public road and to a 
farm-house. About a mile above this point, the extensive 
basin, embraced by the arms of Scafell and Bowfell, and 
which must have formed the gathering place of the snow 
forming the glacier of this valley, contracts into a compara- 
tively narrow space, and there the polished surfaces are par- 
ticularly conspicuous. Just above the point of contraction, 
these polished surfaces are slightly roughened, and bare 
masses of partially water-worn materials laid against them. 
I was at a loss to account for these facts, as the rivulet runs 
through a rocky channel forty or fifty feet below, until I ob- 
served that the passage for the river is through a chasm, the 
sides of which, angular and rough, are altogether in contrast 
to the neighbouring polished surfaces. It clearly appears, 
that, before the river had cut out this channel, it had formed 
a lake in the open valley above, and that to the action of this 
lake we are to attribute the slight roughening of the pre- 
viously glacialised surfaces, and the accumulation of water- 
worn debris. 

The abraded surfaces at Patterdale, in the Ulleswater val- 
ley, are scarcely less remarkable. Near the inn at the head 
of the lake, there is so much of this sterile surface presented, 
that the place reminded me much of certain parts of Sweden. 
The two partially-wooded islets near the head of the lake, 
rounded, shaven, polished, and only admitting vegetation in 
chinks, are exactly like the numberless roches montonnees 
which gem the Christiania-fiord, and, indeed, the whole of the 
sea- board of Norway. As in the case of Borrowdale, there is an 
extensive basin suitable for the collection of snow at the head 
of this valley, and hence we might expect a glacier of consider- 
able magnitude. My observing glacialised surfaces fully 200 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 237 

feet above the lake is not, therefore, surprising. Mr Maclaren 
speaks of a striated vertical face of rock on the west side of 
the deep narrow valley of Troutbeck, 500 feet above the bot- 
tom of that valley, indicating a glacier of still greater depth. 
In the Thirlmere valley, for several miles down from the 
summit at Dunmail Raise, I could find no glacialised sur- 
faces ; but at length they became conspicuous at a place op- 
posite Armboth, near the lower extremity of the lake. Be- 
tween this place and Keswick, four miles from that town, I 
found a considerable surface, exposed in consequence of 
quarrying for road-metal. The whole w r as beautifully polish- 
ed and striated, the direction of the stria? being a little west 
of magnetic north, and thus coincident with the major axis 
of the valley. In all of these cases, there are unequivocal 
appearances of a stoss seite. or exposed side to the south, or 
up the valley. 

For some miles below Dunmail Raise, in the Grasmere 
valley, there are, in like manner, no abraded surfaces ; but 
they present themselves on the north side of that lake, with 
striation pointing to N. 25° W., being the direction of the 
valley at that place ; likewise in a low field south of Rydal, 
and in Dr Davy's garden, near Ambleside, where the direc- 
tion, however, of the stria) is more easterly, and towards 
Rydal glen. On the high ground over which the bye-road 
passes between Grasmere and Skelwith Bridge, there are 
mammillated rocks, with strise from N. 25° W., or nearly 
magnetic north, a direction from which it would be diffi- 
cult for any such agent to come to such a place. At Birth- 
waite Railway Station, near the shore of Windermere, 
there is a large recently exposed surface, glacially polished, 
and bearing strise of the same direction, being that of the 
valley of Windermere. 

In the valley of the Kent, near Stavely, there are several 
examples of abraded surfaces, one of which' has been accu- 
rately described by Mr Bryce. It is situated at a place called 
Jacob's Wood, and having only lately been exposed, it is in 
the finest possible condition. The slate (Lower Ludlow rocks) 
is here remarkably hard, insomuch that an attempt at quar- 
rying it has had to be abandoned. A surface, fifty-three 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII. — APRIL 1853. 11 

23S R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

feet long by fifteen broad, is laid bare by the removal of a 
coarse brown detritus containing boulders. It presents four 
bosses, side by side, in the direction of the length, and the 
whole is beautifully polished, with finely-marked striation 
across the planes of stratification, being in the direction of 
N. 46° W.i [Mr Bryce says N. 34° W.,] thus pointing to- 
wards the eminence forming the west side of the upper and 
more mountainous portion of the Kent valley. 

A detritus of half-worn blocks mixed up with a brown mass 
of clay and sand, precisely resembling the moraine matter left 
at the sides and extremities of existing glaciers, is deposited 
in various parts of the Lake valleys, in immediate contact 
with the polished surfaces, and generally in the lee of emi- 
nences. It is generally where such matter has been excavat- 
ed for the making and repairing of roads, that we find the 
best examples of polished surfaces, the detritus having served 
as a complete protection to the vitreous polish left by the 
abrading agent. As far as I have observed, the superficial 
matters do not anywhere, in the central parts of the Lake 
District, present the peculiar forms of either lateral or termi- 
nal moraines, except in one instance, in the Thirlmere valley, 
near its head at Dunmail Raise. There, in the angle be- 
tween a side valley and the principal one, we find a long 
ridge of rough detritus with many large blocks, extending 
down the hill -face. An inexperienced observer would be at 
a loss to understand the relations in which such an object 
could stand towards any imaginable glacier hereabouts ; but 
one who has seen the moraines of the Glacier des Bois and 
the Glacier d'Argentiere in the Chamouni valley, would 
quickly perceive that this, in reality, is the right lateral mo- 
raine of the glacier which issued at this place into the Thirl- 
mere valley, from one of the high glens which ascend into 
the mountain chain of Bowfell. Mr Maclaren's moraine in 
Glen Messan has been surmised as an object of precisely 
similar history. 

Not far from the moraine just described, on the summit 
called Dunmail Raise, which is a valley of passage between 
two ordinary valleys, there is a great mass of detrital matter, 
through which the infant rills of the district have made deep 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 239 

passages, shewing the hugeness of the deposit. I regret that 
I did not examine this mass very carefully ; but I am satis- 
fied that it is a different kind of detritus from the brown 
moraine matter already described, most probably the blue 
boulder clay. It is very remarkable to find a different detri- 
tus in a situation obviously out of the reach of the glaciers 
of the valley system here described. 

Dr Buckland, in 1840, announced objects in the vicinity of 
the lake country, which he believed to be moraines connected 
with its valleys. Thus he traced the spoils of the Patterdale 
and Ulleswater valley in " extensive moraines loaded with 
enormous blocks of porphyry and slate," in the vicinity of 
Penrith. At the vomitories of Long. Sleddale and the Kent- 
mere valley, he found " large and lofty piles of gravel." The 
districts of Furness, Ulverstone, and Dalton, to the south of 
the lake region, he described as " extensively covered with 
deep deposits of glacier origin." Dr Buckland had not been 
able to examine the western outskirts of the districts ; but 
he believed that many hillocks laid down there in masses 
were remains of moraines. Seeing that the learned geolo- 
gist, in the novelty of the investigation, mistook some alluvial 
accumulations in Scotland for ancient moraines, I cannot 
bring forward these observations as conclusive upon the sub- 
ject ; and I must regret that I have not been able to con- 
tribute any of my own. Now, however, that the valleys are 
known to have been filled by glaciers, it may be hoped that 
some local observers will institute an inquiry to ascertain 
whether their detrital spoils remain in definite forms at their 
vomitories, or have been carried away and dissipated over 
the neighbouring country. 

From the whole phenomena, I infer that the lake country 
| has at one time been the seat of a radiating system of gla- 
ciers. I regard it as a complete and well-defined example of 
glacial action in a limited mountainous district, where the 
direction and slope of the valleys clearly determine the ice- 
streams. It is easy to see how the spacious basins of ele- 
vated ground embosomed amongst the heights of Scafell and 
Bowfell on the one hand, and Helvellyn, Bydal Head, and 

Kirkstonefell on the other, formed the berceaux of the vari- 


240 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

ous glaciers of whose course we have described the memo- 
rials. And as such basins are necessary for the formation of 
glaciers, we can readily understand why no traces of glacia- 
tion are to be found in the higher parts of the valleys meet- 
ing at Dunmail Raise, as also why a mass of peculiar detri- 
tus is left there. That place had been out of the scope of the 
glaciers here spoken of, and its mass of detritus may be re- 
garded as probably the result of some earlier operations. 

From the descriptions which have been given us of the 
Snowdonian regions in North Wales by Dr Buckland, Mr 
Darwin, Professor Ramsay, and others, and from what I 
have seen of it myself, I entertain no doubt that it is another 
example of a limited mountain district once occupied by local 
glaciers. Seven valleys radiating from a centre of elevation 
present, along their sides and bottoms, rock faces which have 
been ground, smoothed, and striated by ice, the strise being 
in each case parallel to the line of the valley. There are also 
in and about these valleys certain detrital masses which have 
been set down by several observers as the moraines connected 
with their ancient glaciers ; but my own observations lead 
me to consider some of these as deficient in the characteristic 
form of moraines, and, as a general rule, the Snowdonian 
valleys may be said to be remarkably bare of detrital matter. 
While this is the case, the outer flanks of this group of moun- 
tains, and many high table-lands interspersed amongst them, 
are covered deeply with the " Northern Drift.' 1 That this, 
however, is the product of a different condition of things, and 
of an earlier epoch than that of the valley glaciers, appears 
to me proved by two facts, namely, that the connection of the 
sea with the origin of the drift is indicated by the shell de- 
posits found in it, and that, as we learn from a late paper of 
Professor Ramsay, " small patches of it alone remain nestled 
amid the smaller bottoms of the hills." It hence appears that 
the glaciers have removed or swept out this drift from the 
valleys, while failing to disturb it on the high grounds and 
the outskirts of the mountain district. Mr Ramsay, with his 
usual acumen, has drawn this distinction, the importance of 
which will appear in a stronger light before we have done 
with the subject. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 241 

In Scotland, the mountain systems are too large to allow 
of our seeing any such well-defined examples of what may 
be called District Glaciation, as those cited from South 
Britain. The memorials of the action of ancient ice are, as 
is well known, abundant in our land of mountain and flood ; 
and we shall presently endeavour to embrace them in a com- 
prehensive sketch ; but I am unable to select any particular 
district precisely comparable to the Lake country or the 
Snowdonian region, although, as has been seen, there are in 
various places proofs of still more narrowly local glaciation. 
It is, also, to be remarked that there are in several district 
yalleys in Scotland, proofs of local glaciation on a larger 
scale than those already mentioned ; but these I shall advert 
to in the comprehensive sketch which must now be at- 

Proofs of a more General Glaciation in Scotland. 
The examples of smoothed and striated rocks in Scotland, 
known up to 1 849, were summed in an interesting paper by 
Mr Maclaren, read before this Society in April of that year. 
They were very numerous. He redescribed the remarkable 
example in Gairloch, originally discovered by himself in 
1845. Instances were also cited from the neighbouring 
valleys of Loch Long, Loch Eck, and Loch Fyne ; the direc- 
tion of striae being in all instances conformable to the direc- 
tion of the valleys, namely, in the first three cases from 
NNW., and in the last NNE. Mr Maclaren described 
striated rocks in the valleys of Loch Earn and Loch Katrine, 
strise directed from the west ; along Loch Lubnaig, directed 
from the north; along the skirts of Demyat hill, and at Tor- 
wood, in the valley of the Forth, pointing from WNW. ; 
and at numerous places in the lower parts of the valley of 
the Forth, about Edinburgh, and on the Pentland Hills, 
pointing generally from WSW. Our learned associate 
also adduced examples of the same phenomena, from the 
east end of Loch Awe in Argyleshire, from Loch Etive near 
Oban, from Loch Leven at Ballachulish, and from Glen 
Spean near Fort William, where the exposed sides were 
clearly towards the east, and the smoothing agent had of 

242 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

course a westerly direction. He, therefore, drew the infer- 
ence that " the nucleus of this physical force, the common 
centre from which their agents moved, was in the group of 
mountains extending from Loch Goil northward to Locli 
Laggan, dividing the springs of the Spean, the Leven, and the 
Orchay, from those of the Spey, the Tay, the Earn, and the 
Forth.'' At the same time, Mr Maclaren candidly admitted 
that much remained to be done before adequate materials for 
a satisfactory theory were collected. 

M. Charles Martins, in 1850, supported Mr -Maclaren in 
his view of glaciers radiating out of the Highlands, and de- 
scending on the plains, as sufficient to produce the phenomena 
which are to be accounted for. 

It seems, nevertheless, that both Mr Maclaren and M. 
Martins were aware of some features of the case which 
such a theory could not well account for. Mr Maclaren had 
himself discovered that the eminence between Loch Long 
and the Gairloch, 600 feet high, was as perfectly smoothed 
along the top, as was the bottom of either of the two valleys. 
Another even more startling fact, was that of a summit of 
the Pentlaitds, 1400 feet high, where Professor Fleming had 
found stria? identical in direction with those in the plains 
to the northward. Mr Maclaren had likewise observed in 
the valley of Westwater, which runs north and south at the 
western extremity of the Pentland range, nearDunsyre, and 
which is 800 or 900 feet above the sea, that striae crossed 
through it in a direction from west to east, thus persevering 
in the normal direction of the district, in circumstances where, 
if anywhere, a divergence was to be expected. That any 
group of our Highland mountains, ranging as they do from 
3000 to 3500 feet high, should have sent forth from their 
valleys, ranging far below that elevation, for so it must have 
been, a glacier which reached the area of Mid-Lothian, 
seventy miles off, in such volume and depth as to envelope a 
range of hills to the depth of 1400 feet, and in such unyield- 
ing force as there to cross a minor valley, 800 or 900 feet 
above the sea, without diverging in the least from its course, 
was certainly to be scarce expected by any one who was con- 
tent to confine his view to what we see done bv such ice- 

in Scotland and Parts of England.. 243 

streams as now exist in the Alps. I, in some measure, inti- 
mated this objection to the British Association in 1850, 
when, professing to be unprepared for any theory on the sub- 
ject, I held that one was wanting which would plausibly ac- 
count for the Pentland phenomena, as also for the uniformity 
of striation on the front of the Fife hills, on the opposite 
side of the Forth valley, for I had been shewn markings at 
Cullelo quarry and near Burntisland, identical in direction 
with the various examples in Lothian, proving that the whole 
valley from the Lomonds to the Pentlands, and even beyond 
these hills, had been under one glacial agent, self-consistent 
throughout in its movement and operation. 

The observations which I have been able to make since the 
Edinburgh meeting of the Association have served much to 
confirm me in the belief, that the views entertained up to 
that time, for the explanation of the glacial phenomena of 
Scotland, were far from being adequate to embrace the facts 
of the case. 

It appears to me that previous observers have, in the first 
place, had too few facts to speculate upon, and have conse- 
quently pronounced as if certain local and partial phenomena, 
such as might arise in a limited Alpine region, were alone to 
be accounted for. They have also, from a similar limitedness 
of view, erred in attempting to explain the phenomena as a 
product of only one set of conditions existing at one point in 

As to the real extent of the phenomena in Scotland, the 
difficulty is not so much to say where there are abraded and 
striated rocks, more or less covered by glacial detritus, as 
where such rocks are not. I have, since August 1850, found 
them along the whole range of the coast north of Argyleshire, 
namely, in Inverness-shire, and the counties of Ross, Suther- 
land, and Caithness. I have found them in the Isle of Skye, 
in situations independent of the Cuchullin Hills : in the island 
of Mull ; all along Loch Lomond, and Loch Katrine ; even 
the picturesque eminences which constitute the Trosachs being 
roches montonnees, with abraded faces to the west. I have like- 
wise found them in Perthshire, Fife, and Aberdeenshire. They 
are reported from Ayrshire. I have found a large lateral 

244 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

moraine near Maxwellton House, in Kirkcudbright, and seen 
fine smoothing with striation on the surface of Corncockle 
Muir. in Dumfriesshire. When we add these situations to 
those previously ascertained, we see that glacial phenomena 
are so widely distributed, that it is making but a small de- 
mand on hypothesis to say, that we should find traces of ice 
everywhere, except at the utmost on the summits of the loftier 
hills, if all our rock-surfaces were exposed, and if all those 
actually exposed had been equally capable of retaining the 
impressions made by ice. In point of fact, we may see in every 
valley in the country, forms of the surface which, though 
changed by weathering and other agencies, it is easy to con- 
nect through a series of similar objects with indubitable 
glacial surfaces, so as to satisfy ourselves that these too have 
been glacialised. Thus, nothing is more common in the High- 
land valleys than rounded humps of upturned gneiss or mica- 
slate, with the strata shorn sharply through. In many in- 
stances, exposure has caused a weathering, the extent of 
which we may know to be one, two, or even three inches, by 
the prominence of quartz veins to that height. Near these, 
we often find, where a recent exposure has taken place, sur- 
faces of the same rock, finely smoothed and striated. Other 
examples in all intermediate degrees of weathering can be 
detected, clearly shewing that the polished condition was ori- 
ginally that of all such rounded masses. Hence, even when 
there is a single case decided of polishing in a whole glen, 
Ave may see enough to prove that such was the original con- 
dition of the whole. So also, if we find sandstone of a cer- 
tain considerable degree of hardness always presented pro- 
minently above the surface, as at Ravelston and Craigleith, 
in Mid Lothian, at Cullelo in Fife, and at Brora in Suther- 
landshire, and always in these instances smoothed and 
striated even after long exposure, we may not unreasonably 
infer that other sandstone surfaces, in no respect of relative 
situation different, but comparatively soft, and tending to a 
blazy condition of the surface, would have been glacialised 
likewise, if of the proper consistence. 

As our own neighbourhood is specially rich in the pheno- 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 215 

mena of polished and striated surfaces, I may dwell a little 
longer upon it, mentioning a few examples as yet unre- 

There are, as is well known, some vertical faces of the 
basaltic clinkstone of Edinburgh Castle rock, which have 
evidently been polished by some external application. Near 
this, in the foundation of the Corn Exchange in the Grass- 
market, Mr David Page found the subjacent rock polished and 
striated. It is well remembered that, a few years ago, on 
the cutting out of the superficial detritus on the south 
shoulder of Arthur's Seat, above Sampson's Ribs, a spot 390 
feet above the sea, the rock was found to form a kind of 
trough, the sides and bottom of which were polished and 
striated. In 1850, some cuttings at the St Margaret's sta- 
tion of the North British Railway, near Jock's Lodge, enabled 
me to ascertain that the north base of Arthur's Seat is 
smoothed and marked in precisely the same manner, namely, 
"with strise and groovings directed from a point south of 
west ; while numerous rounded and striated boulders are in- 
terspersed through the superincumbent compact blue clay, 
There has lately been a similar exposure of the surface at the 
parting of the Bathgate and Edinburgh and Glasgow Rail ways 
at Ratho, and there likewise we see the rock polished and 
furrowed, while the strise observe a similar direction. In 
East Lothian, I have found at Whitekirk, at Craig, at Fen- 
ton Town, and other places, instances of this phenomenon, 
additional to those previously detected in that county. Pro- 
fessor Fleming likewise detected glacial surfaces on the west 
front of North Berwick Law, near the base. The direction 
of the lines is generally very nearly uniform, namely, from 
one to two points south of west, being the general direction 
of the valley. 

There is something in the general configuration of our dis- 
trict even more remarkable than in these polished surfaces. 
It is forty years since Sir James Hall observed the peculiar 
form of eminence which he called crag-and-tail, and of which 
he pointed out instances in the Abbey Craig and Stirling 
Castle rocks, in the hill of the Old Town of Edinburgh, and 
some others. It consisted, as is well known, of an abrupt 

2i6 11. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

face op clilf to the westward and a gentle slope to the east- 
ward, the face being' usually composed of some rock capable 
of presenting a powerful resistance to any denuding agent. 
Colonel Imrie found in the Campsie Hills and the Grampians 
a marked tendency to the same form, with the same arrange- 
ment. More than this, but quite in conformity with it, is a 
tendency in the surface of Lothian to a r I clge-and- trough 
form, exemplified most strikingly in such groups of third-rate 
hills as those of Dalmahoy and Garleton, where the lines of 
both the heights and hollows are throughout very nearly the 
same. We see the same form on a subdued scale in the 
ground between Corstorphine Hill and Leith, which consists 
of a series of broad longitudinal swells, with slight hollows 
between. All of these ridges and hollows are in the same 
direction as the hills of crag-and-tail, and the whole conform 
to the direction of the strise upon the rocks. 

From such objects, it is but a step to extend our observa- 
tions to the sides of those larger hills which bound valleys, 
as the Fife Lomonds and the Pentlands, where we very often 
find a remarkable form of surface, which may be described 
as Mouldings, extending longitudinally, but not always 
quite horizontally, along the slope, and clear in their cross 
sections of every kind of abruptness or inequality rising above 
the sectional outlines. Such mouldings are easily seen on the 
Pentlands from about Colinton ; on the northern aspects of 
Arthur's Seat ; under Dunearn summit in Fife ; on Demyat 
from the valley below ; on several parts of the Campsie Fells, 
particularly above Banton ; on the hills to the south of Loch 
Vennachar and Loch Achray, in Perthshire ; and on many 
other of the Scottish hills, but generally most clearly when 
the sun shines at a low angle along the slope. They are clearly 
attributable to the operation of the same agent, of which some 
other serrations or irregularities have fashioned the longi- 
tudinal ridges in the valley below ; that is to say, more cor- 
rectly, some stronger consistency of rock has in both cases 
presented a more than usual resistance to the planing agent. 
Now these markings are seen at great elevations among the 
hills, and but a small way from their summits ; and the flow- 
ing sky-lines of the greater portion of our secondary hills are 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 247 

manifestly connected with them in respect of cause. Thus, 
when we eliminate cliffs and other rough parts as only ex- 
ceptions, and the effect of subsequent weathering and other 
casual forces, a comprehensive eye cast over the mountain 
system of Scotland, has no difficulty in seeing the effects of a 
general abrading agent which has passed over and more or 
less moulded nearly the whole. 

I am prepared, however, to shew proofs of a general abra- 
sion in Scotland, compared to which the above can only be 
considered as adjuvant and subordinate. 

Most students of geology will remember the striking de- 
scription which Dr M'Culloch gives of the range of old red 
sandstone mountains which extends for fifty miles along the 
west coast of Ross and Sutherland. From a platform of 
upturned gneiss, undulating in outline, and between 200 or 
300 and 1000 feet above the sea, rise these mountains iso- 
latedly to the height of from 3000 to 3500 feet above the sea, 
with wide spaces between, in some of which lie lakes and 
estuaries. The strata being disposed at a low angle, it be- 
comes evident that they are the relics of one wide-spread 
formation, out of which gaps have been cut by some external 
agent; and hitherto the district has been regarded as a strik- 
ing example of the process of denudation, and often adverted 
to as such in elementary books, the agent usually presumed 
being water. Not one of these mountains, as far as I am 
aware, advances to the coast or abuts on the sea ; but at Elm 
Stor, in Sutherlandshire, a small low patch of the sandstone 
borders the coast and passes beneath the waves, which have 
cut it into very fantastic forms. 

It seems to me entirely inadmissible that the sea has been 
the denuding agent in this case, and for the following reasons : 
— First, On the gneiss platform between the mountains and 
the coast, we do not see the fragments of sandstone which 
would be deposited there by such an operation. Second, We 
have at Holborn Head, in Caithness, and all along the coasts 
of Aberdeen and Forfarshire, cliffs of old red sandstone abut- 
ting on the w r aves, and worn by them into deep chasms and 
caves, with isolated columnar masses here and there left out 

248 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

at sea; but the faces of the mountains in question bear no 
trace of sucli operations. 

On these mountains, however, at least such of them as I 
have examined in the district of xlssynt and at Loch Maree 
in Ross-shire, and on the gncissic platform whereon they rest, 
there are abundant traces of glacial action. These are apt 
at first to appear of a confused and contradictory character ; 
but all difficulty vanishes when we arrive at the idea of a 
local system of glaciers succeeding a system of things during 
which a more general glaciation took place, and substituting 
for the effects of that more general movement effects of its 
own ; the key to much that has been perplexing in the inves- 
tigation of this subject. 

There is one of these mountains which attracts more ob- 
servation than any other, on account of its extraordinary 
form, which has given it among sailors the name of Sugar 
Loaf, though it is properly called Suilvean (meaning Ear 
Hill). It extends in a narrow ridgy form for upwards of a 
mile, with sides so steep as to be inaccessible in most places 
(I measured an angle of 58° on one side, and found the pre- 
cipice on the other absolutely vertical) ; the west end being 
also very steep, while the east slopes away in a tail. Seen 
at the west end, the hill looks like a lofty tower with a dome- 
shaped top, something not unlike the Eddystone Lighthouse, 
— a resemblance not a little helped by the palpable stratifi- 
cation, which has the appearance of a Titanic masonry. 
Another perfectly isolated mountain, called Stack, precisely 
resembles Suilvean, and these, from their position, may be 
considered as a front guard for the series towards the sea. 

Behind that range is a series composed of Cuineag, Canisp, 
Coul More, and Coul Beg, which, with bold faces to the west, 
dip down on the east at an angle of about 9°, their lower 
slopes in that direction passing under another range of hills 
resting on a broad band of limestone. The backs or eastern 
slopes of all these hills are composed of quartz rock — sand- 
stone metamorphosed into that character — and the bareness 
and whiteness of that peculiar surfacing gives them a very 
remarkable appearance. It becomes readily apparent that 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 249 

these quartz carapaces, as they may he called, are what has 
protected the hills from the utter demolition and removal 
which have befallen the matter once filling the great inter- 
vals between them. 

Now, in this range of hills, there are phenomena of smooth- 
ing, striation, and detrital accumulations, which can only be 
accounted for on the supposition of there having been, be- 
sides a district glaciation in the valleys, like that of the Lake 
Country, an earlier general glaciation which has passed 
over the backs, if not the very summits of the hills. 

The valley in which Loch Assvnt lies, extending up into a 
spacious bosom of high ground inclosed by the summits of 
Ben Uie and Glasvean, has been the seat of a glacier origin- 
ating in that bosom, and which had swept out to sea at Loch 
Inver and Rhu Stor. We see all along this course, smoothed 
rocks, with striae in the line of the valley. In the higher 
parts, are moraines, one of them forming the barrier of a 
little lake. In the middle part, about Loch Assynt, are 
accumulations of moraine matter : while along the gneissic 
platform, towards Rhu Stor, are examples of long ridges, 
with the stoss seite to the east, and a lee side to west, at- 
tended by gatherings of moraine matter in the lee, containing, 
with many masses of the gneiss, some of the red sandstone, 
which may be presumed to have been brought from the skirts 
of Cuineag. When we go onward to the low patch of sand- 
stone on the coast at Stor, we find fragments of the gneiss 
carried over it, still confirming a westerly movement at this 

At the back or north side of the elevated ridge formed by 
Ben Uie and Glasvean, there is another valley called Glen 
Coul, which runs out to the westward, and is partly filled by 
the estuary of Kyle Skou. This has likewise been the seat 
of a local glacier, as appears from similar proofs ; but it has 
been on a smaller scale, not having had such a spacious field 
for the collection of the proper material. 

So much for the glaciation of this district, where there are 
bosoms amongst the hills and valleys running out from them, 
appropriate seats of local glaciers. But on the summits and 
high slopes of the hills, and on the portions of the gneissic 

250 K. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

platform not connected with valleys, there are traces of an 
independent and, I believe, earlier glaciation. On Cuineag 
and Canisp — on the former np to the height of 1700 or 1800 
feet, and on the latter not much less, the quartz surfaces are 
marked with black streaking s\ which are the striae peculiar 
to a singularly hard rock, and these run from about N. 60° 
W. with certain exceptions. One of these is at the base of 
the slope of Cuineag, where the streaks are from the direct 
north, apparently by reason of the turn which the agent has 
there received from the base of the adjacent hill. Another 
exception is at the hollow dividing the mass of the hill from 
its loftiest top, where another system of streakings comes 
in from the direct west, thus with the other set clipping the 
summit of the hill. It may be remarked that the dip of the 
strata on the backs of these hills is usually at a somewhat 
greater inclination than the outline of the surface, the resis- 
tance having been the stronger the nearer the bottom. There 
is a great quantity of quartz slabs strewed along the back of 
the hill, being the last fragments which have been torn up 
by the denuding agent, and many of the surfaces exposed 
have evidently undergone no attrition. This has afforded us 
an opportunity of observing the difference between an abra- 
ded surface and one which has undergone no abrasion, and it 
is very striking. The unabraded surface presents an inequa- 
lity of outline, partaking of a tuberculated^character, which 
is entirely wanting in one which has been subjected to the 
striating agent. 

On a summit running south from Ben More, fully 1500 
feet high, and four or five miles to the south-east of Cuineag, 
there are streakings on the quartz, observing the normal di- 
rection of this general movement, namely, about N. 60° W. 
What is most curious and significant, and settles the question 
of two systems and epochs of glaciation, is, the fact of there 
being upon Canisp, cross stria) connected with those local 
moraines at the base which were adverted to in the earlier 
part of this paper. The strong normal streaks athwart the 
hill from the north-west, a direction in which no local or limit- 
ed mass of ice could move, are clearly chequered with fainter 
streaks produced by this simple down-hill movement, which 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 251 

happens to be from WSW. It may also be remarked that, 
on some other parts of the mountain, of no great elevation, 
there are down-hill streakings without any of those from the 
north-west. Such is likewise the case on the back of Coul 

On the gneissic platform, between Coul More and Suilvean 
I found polished surfaces, striated from NW. to W. ; and 
to the west and north of the latter mountain are markings in 
all respects similar. Such is the line of the major axis of 
Suilvean itself, and of many ridges and hollows of the gneiss, 
as may be partly observed from the Map ; for such is the di- 
rection of many lakes which repose in these hollows, and 
which are laid clown in maps. These are situations where 
no local glaciers could exist. They only could be marked by 
some glaciation more general than any we now see in opera- 

At a particular stage in the investigation of this district, I 
thought that, there being proofs of so extensive a denudation 
in Assynt, by an abrading agent coming from the north-west, 
we ought to find extensive deposits of the detritus of the dis- 
trict in regions situated to the eastward. I therefore made 
an extensive detour, in order to pass along the valley con- 
taining Loch Shin, and looked carefully there for fragments 
of quartz and old red sandstone. Not a fragment was to be 
found. The mystery was, however, soon cleared up ; for it 
became evident, from both striated surfaces and moraines, 
that this valley had been, like that of Loch Assynt and Glen 
Coul, the seat of a comparatively late local glacier, which 
necessarily had swept out every particle of earlier detritus. 

It must now be observed, that the proofs of such a general 
extension and so deep a volume of mobile ice, are not con- 
fined to this district. Streaking, precisely the same as that 
of Cuineag and Canisp, exists at an elevation of at least 2000 
feet, on the similar quartz mountain named Ben-Eay, south 
of Loch Maree, and forty miles from Assynt, — this striation 
being from NW., or thereabouts, and totally irrespective of 
the form of the hill. On free ground, between Gairloch and 
Poole we, there is similar marking, with a direction from 
WNW. So also is there in the great elevated valley of 

252 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

passage across the island in Ross-shire, — the dreary Dirry 

It seems to me that the whole phenomena can only be ac- 
counted for, by our supposing that there was, first, a general 
sweeping of the surface of this district by a deep flow of mo- 
bile ice, one great cause, if not the principal, of that enormous 
denudation which has been described, but of which the spoils, 
from the universality and power of the agent, were in a great 
measure carried away. Second, local; and certainly subaerial 
glaciers, occupying certain valleys in the more elevated moun- 
tain systems, and producing moraines, composed of brown 
clay, sand, and blocks. The small glaciers first pointed to 
in this paper were perhaps of a still later date, when the 
mean temperature was not much below its present point. 

The examples which have been cited do not, after all, refer 
to a very extensive district ; but when we take a wider range 
of observation, we find phenomena which are for the most 
part in perfect harmony with those of the west coast of Assynt. 
Passing northward to Rhiconich, we find near that place 
stria) coming in from the coast, from the north-west, and 
passing across a high moor, with no regard whatever to the 
inequalities of the ground. A little farther north, at Loch 
Laxford, a fine surface is marked with striation from the 
north-west, being across the valley in which it occurs. At 
an opening in the bold gneissic coast which looks out upon 
the Pentland Firth, there is strong marking in a direction 
from NNW. The high desolate tract called Moen, between 
Loch Eribol and Tongue Bay, where there is nothing that 
could restrain or guide the movement of the ice, exhibits 
striation from N. 28° W. Stria?, in nearly the same direc- 
tion, namely, N. 25° W , occur four miles to the east of 
Tongue Bay. On perfectly free ground, at Armadale, the 
markings point almost directly from the north. When we 
pass on to Caithness, where the country generally is of that 
rounded undulating character which speaks of glacial action, 
we find a few traces of striation, still from points between 
north and north-west, which is directly transverse to a line 
pointing f<> the neighbouring hills. At the Clynelish quarry, 
near Brora, in Sutherlandshire, the fine surface of smoothed 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 253 

sandstone, pointed out by Sir Roderick Murchison, exhibits 
striation from a point north of west. This pointing back to 
a valley out of which a local glacier may have come, and the 
gorge of which shews many moraine-like ridges, is perhaps 
not a true case ; but if it be, the line of the striation is not 
much out of conformity. Striation of north-westerly direction 
is found in a valley near Loch Fleet, also at Invershin, and 
along the road to Assynt. So also is it found in the valley 
of the Shin, but with what I consider undoubted moraines, 
shewing at least a subsequent local glaciation. 

I found only one example of remarkable divergence in 
Sutherlandshire, beyond the instances of undoubted local 
glaciation in Assynt, and this was in the valley in which 
Loch Eribol lies. The sides of this valley are composed of 
quartz rock, and the whole bears a great resemblance to the 
Gairloch. The quartz is everywhere smoothed down to a 
condition of the highest polish, excepting where some modern 
fracturing has taken place ; and the striae on this fine surface 
run between a point east of north, and one west of south, 
being precisely the direction of the valley. The probability 
is, however, that a glacier has descended this valley from the 
bosoms of the great eminences in the Dearrie Forest. 

Far to the south of this district, in the valleys near the 
western extremity of the Great Glen, we have seen that 
there are markings, which Mr Maclaren has described as 
having a direction from the interior of the country towards 
the west coast ; in which respect they differ from those now 
under our immediate notice. He particularly mentions some 
on the south side of Loch Awe, about a mile west from Dal- 
mally Inn, where there are two small crag-and-tail hills, with 
stria3 from ENE., and masses of stones and soil to the WSW. 
He also lays much force upon certain smooth ings at and 
near Monessie, in Glen Spean, where the rough or protected 
sides are clearly down the valley, or to the west. Now, in 
several places connected with this valley, there are abraded 
rocks, with the rough sides in the opposite direction. Mr 
Milne Home has described one group at the opening of Loch 
Treig, and another at the junction of Glen Fintec with Glen 
Gluoy. I was with Mr Milne Floine when these examples 

254 K. Chambers, Esq.. on Glacial Phenomena 

were discovered, and can testify to their genuineness. I 
also find, among my own memoranda, a note and sketch of 
another, which we had discovered at the head of Glen Glas- 
ter, with the smoothed side to the north-westward. Thus, 
in the very district containing the markings which Mr Mac- 
laren, M. Martins, and Sir Roderick Murchison, have de- 
pended on as completing their proofs of a radiating arrange- 
ment, we see that there is a more widely-spread set of mark- 
ings, more elevated in situation, and in conformity with the 
normal direction. MrMaclaren also mentions smoothed rocks 
on Loch Etive, with striation, to his surprise, not conformable 
to the shore, and coming, as he thought, from ESE., or from 
Loch Awe, though hills of from 300 to 500 feet intervene. 
I have no doubt that if Mr Maclaren had seen the examples 
which exist in the far north, he would have regarded this as 
an example of that early general glaciation proceeding from 
the north-west, which we have shewn to be independent of 
even more considerable inequalities of ground than the hills 
of Loch Etive. 

It happens that, at a place not many miles from Loch Etive, 
namely the Isle of Kerrera, opposite Oban, there are numer- 
ous smoothed surfaces dipping into the sea, with striation 
from N. 60° W., being nearly the same direction as Mr Mac- 
laren' s, WNW. If the agent moved on to S. 60° E., it would 
strike the shore at Oban ; and if it went straight on, it must 
have passed over the high grounds which lie between that 
shore and Loch Awe. The question may arise, Did it not 
pass in the opposite direction ? One circumstance, not easily 
reconcileable with that idea, and otherwise highly curious, is, 
that on the high grounds above Tobermory, in Mull, twenty- 
five miles from Oban, there are striae pointing from N. 60° W. 
No glacier proceeding from the hills above Oban could go 
straight on to this point, and leave marks on a hill two hun- 
dred feet high. But, when we see marks in the far north, as 
independent of unequal ground, and equally irrelative to the 
kind of grounds which feed glaciers, we have no room to doubt 
that these Mull and Oban markings belong to the same class. 

The examples in the valleys of Loch Fine, Loch Eck, Loch 
and Gteirloeh, which Mr Maclaren has cited, all with 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 255 

a southerly direction, may easily be interpreted as parts of 
this grand early system of glaciation, though perhaps par- 
tially affected by local glaciation at a later period. It has 
already been stated by Sir Roderick Murchison, that there is 
no imaginable centre for the issue of glaciers of the ordinary 
kind down the Gairloch. And the objection is one which 
apparently cannot be answered. Mr Maclaren has himself ob- 
served a fact irreconcileable with such a theory in the smooth- 
ing of the hills of 600 feet high, between Gairloch and Loch 
Long. I have myself observed, in the adjacent Holy Loch, that 
the striation, which is there from north to south, indicates an 
agent which has come slanting over the hill, between that 
valley and Loch Long, — an eminence of not less height. 

Conformable also are the eastward markings of Strathearn, 
and the southward markings of Loch Lubnaig. I have lately 
observed that the valley of Loch Lomond is glacialised south- 
wardly, the line of its length, roches rnontonnees, with stria- 
tion, being conspicuous at Bealmaha, Rowandernnan, Luss, 
and Tarbert. Some islets near Luss are of this character, be- 
ing precisely like the examples in Ulleswater. Those who are 
accustomed to affiliate glaciers exclusively to high mountains, 
would be somewhat surprised to see proofs of such a stream 
of ice having swept laterally along the base of Ben Lomond. 
At the same time, I am not sure that the valley of Loch 
Lomond has not been latterly filled with a local glacier de- 
scending from some of the elevated basins near its northern 
extremity, and which, by one of its moraines, may have 
formed the dam at its foot. A train of granite blocks traced 
by Mr Hopkins along the side of the loch to a northerly 
origin is a circumstance pleading strongly for such a theory. 

One example of smoothed and striated rocks at Stronach- 
lachar, near the head of Loch Katrine, is worthy of parti- 
cular notice, as utterly destructive of the idea of exclusively 
local glaciers, and only to be explained by that of an agent 
wide-spread over the land, plastic, but pressing hard, and not 
readily yielding to any local obstruction. There is here 
striation ascending obliquely out of the loch, passing over a 
high jutting hill promontory, reappearing under compact 
clay, in low ground, at some distance from the loch, and every - 


256 R. Chambers, Esq.. on Glacial Phenomena 

where maintaining precisely one direction, and that from 
NNW. To all appearance, the agent which produced these 
impressions came over a lofty range of hills from Balquidder, 
and passed on to cross a scarcely lower range, and descend 
into the valley of Loch Ard. There has also been, as already 
mentioned, an issue of glaciers by the south-east end of the 
lake, among the defiles of the Trosachs, part of the rough- 
ness of which is caused by a large moraine. 

The descent of this great or general glacier into the south 
and east of Scotland can be traced at other points. A lofty 
and extensive sandstone plateau between Campsie and Glas- 
gow, exhibits extensive smoothings, with striation from 
WNW. Eminences of trap in the valley of Strathblane 
have manifestly abraded faces to the north-west. There are 
clear marks of the passage of ice over the conglomerate skirts 
of Demyat, directed to ESE. ; also, in the same direction 
over the sandstone at the Tor wood, near Larbert. The line 
of the remarkable passages through the trap eminence at 
Stirling Castle is precisely conformable. Farther on, the 
agent gets a turn to the northward, bringing it into con- 
formity with the line of the Forth valley ; it continues to be 
from about W. 15° S., all along by Edinburgh and East 
Lothian, the only remarkable excess in this twist of movement 
being at Silvermine quarry, a lofty position to the south of 
Linlithgow, where it is as much as W. 45° S. On the lime 
stone here, over beautifully marked surfaces, lies a deep bed 
of the compact blue clay with blocks, which, besides being 
scattered through the mass, form a zone a good many feet 
down, a striking but not unexampled peculiarity. 

From the south of the Pentland Hills and Lammermuir 
range, there are no reported examples of abraded or scratched 
surfaces, a fact apparently to be attributed to the splintery 
character of the Silurian hills of the south of Scotland. The 
general mammillated character of the outline of these hills 
is, however, very remarkable, from its resemblance to the 
configuration of ground on which we trace true ice markings. 
It is also to be noted that in Berwickshire, the masses in- 
closed in the boulder clay are from the west.* 

* Mr D> Milne on Parallel Koads of Lochaber. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 257 

The views here advanced for a general glaciation are sup- 
ported by facts from Scandinavia, which no theory of exclu- 
sively local glaciation, or of abrasion exclusively by floating 
ice, can possibly account for. M. Bohtlink, who examined 
the glacial phenomena of Scandinavia with great care, found 
there, as we have done in Scotland, many examples of stria- 
tion in the direction of the valleys. But he also found on the 
intermediate heights the normal direction observed, some- 
times at an angle of 50° to that of the valleys. This is pre- 
cisely what I have found in Sutherlandshire. I have myself 
seen something of the glacial phenomena of Scandinavia, and 
fully believe that local glaciers once filled many of the valleys 
of that country. The moraines of the celebrated Gulbrands- 
dalen, at Mosshuus and Laurgard, which I have described 
elsewhere, are not to be mistaken. There are, moreover, in 
Lapland and Finland clear proofs of glaciers having run out 
to north-westward and north-eastward. But to rest content 
with the idea that the direction of all such action can be 
traced back to the great plateaux — which is the case of Eng- 
lish geologists at this day — is to stand in a position which I 
am certain cannot be maintained. Take the following facts 
of my own observation, as only a selection of reasons which 
might be adduced for that conclusion. 

In the very midst of the Scandinavian plateau, on the sum- 
mit of 4000 feet elevation at Jerkind, and in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Sneehatte, the southern slope is abraded 
and polished almost to the top, with striae between north-east 
and south-west — a line totally irrespective of all the great 
mountains of the district, such as Sneehatte, which it sweeps 
laterally. There is, in fact, no higher ground from which 
the required agent could descend to this spot : the effects 
have clearly been produced by an agent crossing the chain. 
There is, indeed, in the neighbouring valley of the Driv, an 
abrasion running downwards to the north, with a great 
lateral moraine at a considerable elevation along the moun- 
tain side ; and this is the undoubted memorial of a local or 
valley glacier, easily traceable to the hollow grounds around 
Sneehatte. It is easy, however, to see that the markings at 

258 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

Jerkind, being wholly unconnected with either more elevated 
ground in which an ordinary glacier could be formed, or with 
a valley in which it could be contained and directed, must 
liave had a totally different history. Again, on the summit 
over which the road from Lavanger to Sundsvall passes, and 
the great connecting line between Norway and Sweden in 
that quarter, the col is a wide saddle-formed space, with only 
gentle heights on both sides, but crossed transversely by a 
group of low ridges. The whole of this space, composed of 
rocks of chlorite schist, is abraded by an agent which has 
been able to shear sharply through the upturned edges of 
the strata, leaving clear stria? to mark its course. Surprising 
to say, that course has not been across from west to east, 
as the road passes ; neither has it been from north to south 
in the line of the little ridges ; but it is athwart both of these 
lines of hollow, from north-west to north-east, and thus 
clearly has been independent of the form of the country. It 
is not till we see such demonstrations as these, that we can 
fully apprehend the weakness of the position which English 
geologists have been contented with for the last ten years, 
in believing that every thing may be accounted for by de- 
tached masses of floating ice, set in motion by currents. 

It is a remarkable feature of the northern peninsula, that 
the descent from the great back bone of the country towards 
the west, constituting Norway, is by a series of comparatively 
short, steep, deep valleys, generally very bare, or only pre- 
senting certain alluvia in the lower and wider spaces towards 
the sea, while the slope towards the east, constituting Sweden, 
is gentle and open, with an enormous abundance of detrital 
accumulations spreading over all for many miles, from the 
flanks of the hills, where they reach to a great elevation. It 
was my fortune to pass across the Plateau from Norway 
into Sweden, and I felt myself to have been quite unprepared 
for the accumulations which I met with in the lee of the hills, 
immediately on descending from the bare striated col above 
described. The matter took the form of vast terraces, with 
promontories of the superior stretching into the inferior, and 
while the surface matter was always water-worn and water- 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 259 

laid, the interior, wherever laid open for road material, 
shewed of precisely the same character as the stuff constitu- 
ing the moraines of the Alps. Now, it would be necessary 
for the exclusive advocates of a drift by floating ice radiating 
from mountain chains, to shew how there has been such a drift 
from one side of that of Scandinavia, while there is so little 
in the opposite direction. They would need to prove that this 
detrital accumulation in the lee of a mountain chain, is any 
thing different from the familiar phenomenon of a tail of debris 
in the lee of a second or third rate hill, or of an isolated rock, 
and ought not to be set down to the same cause ; namely, the 
chain having been involved in a flow of ice, in some form, in 
some circumstances, which pressed hard upon and swept 
bare the hither side, but, passing with comparative lightness 
over what lay beyond, left there some of the solid matter with 
which it was charged. 

It is also to be remarked how little help any such moun- 
tain chain as that of Scandinavia is really calculated to give 
us in explaining some of the phenomena. On the shores of 
the Gulf of Bothnia, and in Finland, where there are vast 
spaces finely polished, with striation from NW. ; in the 
country near Stockholm ; in the district between Christiania 
and Christian sand, and around Gottenburg, where the 
polished surfaces are equally extensive, but where the stria- 
tion has a bend towards the south-west ; we are many hun- 
dreds of miles from that presumed centre of action, and the 
intervening space presents an infinite number of minor obstruc- 
tions, all of which, however, have been swept over by the agent, 
whatever it was. If glaciers proceeding from the plateau be 
presumed, we should require to know how any such agent 
descending from hills only half as high as the Swiss Alps 
could travel over twenty times the space, in a condition, too, 
necessarily attenuated, through the wideness of the country 
over which they must have spread. If ice-floes dragging 
detritus over the surface are presumed, it should be shewn 
how any such agent could be impelled over the submarine 
heights and hollows of such an extent of country, everywhere 
pressing as hard upon the sea-bottom as if its full weight 
were exercised upon it under subaerial circumstances. 

2C0 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

The general glaciation of which we see traces in Scotland, 
finds a still more unequivocal parallel in the northern part 
of the American Continent. It is well known that there are 
proofs all over Canada, and to a point far south in the United 
States, as well as around Lakes Huron and Superior, of an 
abrading agent for the most part from the north-west.* 
Mountains of 2000 feet in height bear on their sides and 
tops striation in that direction ; while to the north-westward, 
no mountains of greater elevation to serve as gathering- 
places for glaciers can be pointed out. Scandinavia, indeed, 
would be in precisely the same circumstances as North 
America in respect of these phenomena, if there were no 
such lofty chain as the Dovre-Field to variegate its surface 
— hence that plateau may be presumed to be quite indifferent 
in the case, except as a proof of the grandeur of the agent 
which could over-ride such elevations. 

Speculations on the Causes of the More General Glaciation. 
When the phenomena of ancient glacial action in the 
region of the Alps were first observed by Messrs Charpen- 
tier, Venetz, and Agassiz, it was thought that the abrasion 
of Scandinavia, which had been described some years before 
and attributed to floods, might be accounted for by an ex- 
tension of the polar ice over that region, and its movement 
southwards, under the influence of a principle of dilatation, 
supposed to reside within the glacier itself, and believed to 
be dependent on the infiltration of water into chinks and its 
subsequent freezing. This doctrine of dilatation has been, 
as is well known, very generally abandoned, in consequence 
of the demonstrations brought by Professor James Forbes in 
favour of his proposition, that " a glacier is an imperfect 
fluid, or a viscous body, which is urged down slopes of a cer- 

* Sir Charles Lyell shews that the ordinary and natural course of icebergs 
borne by currents is from the NE. to SW. ; and in his attempt to account for 
the glacial markings in America by that agent alone, he observes that the 
general direction is the same as that of the icebergs. But I find that, in 
Bigsby'e map of the glacial phenomena of Northern America,* the direction in 
by far the greater number of the markings is from NW. to SE. 
* Quarterly Jour, of Geol. Soc, April 1851. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 261 

tain inclination, by the mutual pressure of its parts." In 
the eagerness to give up this view of a possible cause, the 
very fact of the glacial abrasion of Scandinavia has been also 
given up by many, as if the two things had been essentially 
connected. At least, we have for some years heard little of 
the abrasion either of that region or of America. Most 
geologists seem to be content to regard the phenomena, in 
the reduced or restricted form in which they contemplate 
them, as capable of being produced by floating icebergs 
which had grazed the bottom of the sea in their voyage 
southward, when the land in that quarter was submerged, or 
by these agents joined to ice-floes and masses of detritus 
carried along by powerful currents. 

I must profess myself unable to see the force of the logic 
which demands that certain phenomena should be regarded 
as non-existent, or reduced to some fraction of their actual 
extent, because one theory of the mode of operation of their 
assumed cause has been found untenable. Be the value or 
fate of the Dilatation Theory what it may, it can make no 
change in the fact, that all over Scandinavia, below a certain 
elevated point, the rocky surface, wherever it has been duly 
protected and is now exposed, or even in some instances 
where it has been exposed for ages, is found to be worn or 
shorn down to a flowing outline, is polished, furrowed, and 
striated, exactly as we see that the surfaces of elevated valleys 
in the Alps are worn, polished, and striated by the glaciers 
moving in them at the present day. This fact still remains 
to be accounted for; and if one line of speculation on its 
cause shall fail, the right course, I apprehend, is to look out 
for another. 

It is remarkable that Professor Forbes himself has been 
far from giving countenance to any such consequence of the 
refutation of the Dilatation Theory. 

It is, however, far more remarkable that the prevalent 
theories of English geologists on this subject are all based 
on data for which no tangible proof has ever been, or perhaps 
could be, adduced. One speaks of " large islands and bergs 
of floating ice which came from the north, and, as they 
grounded on the coast and on shoals, pushed along all'the 

262 R. Chambers, Esq.,. on Qlaetal Phenomena 

loose materials of sand and pebbles, broke off all angular 
and projecting points of rock, and when fragments of hard 
stone were frozen into their lower surfaces, scooped out 
grooves in the subjacent solid strata." Now, the floating 
and stranding of icebergs are familiar facts; but no one 
ever saw a sea-bottom worn or scratched by such an agent, or 
could prove that such an operation ever takes place, except at 
the utmost in a partial and casual manner. It is in the main 
a conjecture. Another was not long ago satisfied that " waves 
of translation," breaking away from centres where a sudden 
upheaval of the land had taken place, were sufficient to ac- 
count for the phenomena, but appears to be now of opinion 
that glaciers, floating ice, and currents, have all been con- 
cerned in producing the effects, though still without address- 
ing himself to, or admitting, the fact of the parallelism of 
striation over a large surface, which no such agents could 
have produced. Sir Roderick Murchison surmised that " the 
ice-floes and their detritus might be set in motion by the ele- 
vation of the Scandinavian continent, and the consequent 
breaking-up of the great glaciers on the northern shores of 
a sea which then covered all the flat regions of Russia." 
But this is an operation which has never been seen in nature, 
and, even though it were to take place, we hold that the ice 
and detritus, borne along in a wave of the sea, are still in- 
competent to produce the various effects of abrasion, polish- 
ing, and striation, which are to be accounted for. Besides, 
Sir Roderick would need to shew — what he has not attempted 
— that the British islands and Northern America had a simi- 
lar northern mountain chain to send forth the ice-floes and 
detritus required in their cases. We have always been led 
to understand that it was a rule of scientific geology to refer 
ancient phenomena to causes which we see producing similar 
effects at the present day ; but here the rule seems to be set 
aside in favour of a cause which has no known effects what- 

It may be asked, can we seriously attach the least value to 
any theory which either ignores the great and palpable facts, 
or leaves them totally unaccounted for ? Yet this is the cha- 
racter of the theories here referred to. I shall proceed to 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 263 

state a few only of the facts which are thus overlooked and 

The first is the extent and direction of the operation of the 
agent in the North of Europe. In the central parts of Swe- 
den, and the southern parts of Norway, there is but one sys- 
tem of mammillated rocks and of striation — this being from 
NNE. and NE. : — it involves hills of several hundred feet 
ill height, and passes across and athwart valleys, with an ab- 
solute indifference to such irregularities. Now, no free sea 
could produce a uniformity of movement over so wide a space, 
or with such indifference to forms of the surface ; and, even 
if the abrupt elevation of the Scandinavian chain demanded 
by Sir Roderick Murchison were granted, the ice and detritus 
thrown off by that operation could never have so soon turned 
off in a different direction — first sweeping to the east and 
then returning towards the west. 

In the second place, these theories altogether overlook cer- 
tain peculiar minute features of the abraded surface, which 
are to be accounted for as well as the general fact of an abra- 
sion having taken place. I would instance the perfect polish- 
ing and striation of the under faces of overhanging rocks, and 
of the sides of certain deep narrow channels — six feet deep 
sometimes, and little more than one foot wide. I may point 
still more particularly to a class of objects which abound in 
Sweden, in connection with glacialised surfaces. These are the 
celebrated Jettegryder,or Reisentopfes (Giants 1 Pots or Tubs). 
In the midst of a glacialised surface, perhaps on the side of 
a mountain, perhaps on the col or summit of a pass through 
a chain of mountains, we see a circular pit of three, six, ten, 
or more feet in depth, and three, six, or even eight feet in 
diameter, with sides and bottom worn quite as smooth as the 
parts of the surface near by. There is an evident connec- 
tion between the pit and the neighbouring smoothings in 
respect of cause. Generally, we find a sort of channel run- 
ning up to and into the pit, forming an indentation in its 
lip ; and in one instance at least, I observed that a mould- 
ing descended obliquely from this entrance down to the bot- 
tom, while striae followed the same line, the whole sides 
indeed being marked by curious scoopings, and in term e- 

2G4 It. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

diate ridgings and other evident marks of a spirality, as well 
as inequality of pressure, in the direction of the excavating 
agent. At the bottom, rounded pebbles of the size of a play- 
ing bowl are sometimes found, objects that have clearly been 
concerned in the hollowing process. When an English geolo- 
gist hears generally of circular pits in Scandinavia, he at once 
thinks of aqueous action ; for limestone cliffs down which 
water descends in a cascade, are often found so hollowed. 
The presence of the pebbles at the bottom confirms him in 
the assimilation. But were he to inspect a real Giant's Pot, 
he would speedily see that it never could have been associat- 
ed with a waterfall, and that it has strong characteristic pe- 
culiarities altogether apart from such honeycombing of cliffs 
as we find at cascades. Even in the character of the skin or 
surface of the rock, there is a difference. In short, it is evi- 
dent that these pots have been fashioned by some plastic sub- 
stance which has wound round the interior, come out again, 
and passed on, — a substance, however, so far mixed up or 
associated with water, as to allow of the loose stones gener- 
ally to keep at or near the bottom, or at least within the pit. 
Such a plastic substance, with water continually permeating 
its body, is the ice of glaciers. It would be difficult, I ap- 
prehend, to shew that any floating or water-impelled ice 
could, in its sluggish rigid movement over a sea-bottom, send 
down a tongue to lick and scoop out so peculiar a hollow in 
the subjacent rock. Still more difficult would it be for those 
who regard the whole of the ancient glacial phenomena as 
submarine, to shew how cascades took place at the bottom of 
a sea ! If the theory of these gentlemen thus puts on so 
burlesque an aspect, I must be permitted to say, the blame 
is their own, for all of these peculiar phenomena have been 
recognised and described for many years, and yet have been 
passed over by them as if they did not exist. 

The great defect of the ice-floe theory is, after all, the 
weakness of the force which it implies. If we look the phe- 
nomena to be accounted for fully in the face, w r e shall see 
that a heavy forcible pressure, by a dense yet plastic sub- 
stance, has been exercised — one which could grind and mould 
the surface of a large tract of country, variegated by consi- 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 265 

derable hills, by one movement. This could never be done 
by ice partially floating, or merely impelled by ordinary cur- 
rents. While those who argue for the abrading powers of 
icebergs, can scarcely adduce a single example of that 
agency in nature, I can adduce negative facts of no small 
force against such an agency. At the falls of the copious 
river Glommen, in Norway, just above the cascade, the rock 
is seen striated under the water, obliquely to the course of 
the river. Now, this river must have upbreaks of ice every 
spring, filling its channel at this place with a tolerable re- 
presentation of the ice-floes in question ; yet no strise are 
seen in that direction, and thousands of winters have failed 
to obliterate the original glacial markings in any perceptible 
degree. Many rivers of our own country have driftings of 
broken ice impelled clown their channels with immense force 
at the end of every great frost ; yet their rocky channels pre- 
sent irregularities which give them a totally different appear- 
ance from the abraded and striated surfaces. I was first im- 
pressed with this objection to the ice-floe theory on observ- 
ing some rugged, or only slightly blunted points of rock 
starting up in the bed of the Tweed, near Peebles, where in 
my early days I have witnessed magnificent examples of the 
rush of river-ice so well described in Thomson's " Winter.'' 
This ice is, as is generally known, often impeded by ground- 
ing, and sometimes is carried gratingly over the channel of 
the river exactly in the manner of the ice-floes of the ocean ; 
and, though the phenomenon is on a comparatively small 
scale, some memorials of abrasion might be expected, if ice 
carried by water were really capable of leaving any beyond 
the most trifling. 

As an example of what may be called inadequate theories 
of the polished and striated surfaces, reference may be made 
to one lately started in Ireland, where, as is well known, such 
phenomena are fully as conspicuous as in Scotland. Mr 
Kobert Mallet appears to be the real author of this theory, 
though Colonel Portlock claims to have suggested something 
similar about the same time. The main proposition is, that 
a detrital covering of the land, raised along with it at the 
time of elevation, slipped down its face into the sea, and even 

366 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

over surfaces beneath the sea level, thus producing upon the 
subjacent rock those phenomena of rounding, furrowing, 
and scratching, which have been attributed to the action of 
ice. Such a process, Mr Mallet conceives, may be going on 
beneath the sea, even at the present day. The only re- 
mark I feel called upon to make regarding this theory is, 
that, while few would deny that a mud-slide, land-slip, or 
other slipping of detrital matter, is competent, when it takes 
place, to abrade and scratch the subjacent faces of rock, the 
phenomena really to be accounted for — the extensive denu- 
dations, the abrasion of mountains and valleys in directions 
irrespective of the inclination of the ground, and the deposit 
of detrital accumulations over enormous surfaces with no 
general slope at all (as the valley between the Friths of Clyde 
and Forth) — are wholly beyond the imaginable scope of such 
an operation. 

While thus sensible of how far any existing theory is from 
accounting for the whole phenomena, I am by no means pos- 
sessed of any theory of my own, which I think fit to be imme- 
diately accepted and maintained, without future change or 
modification. I can only say that it seems to me unavoidable, 
that we suppose a mass of ice to have spread out, from the 
north generally to the south, ice viscous and moveable like 
that of subaerial glaciers, and like them sufficiently compact 
to possess great abrading force ; and water has been con- 
cerned in connection with this ice, as evidenced by the cha- 
racter of the connected deposit of boulder clay ; but as to 
the formation and movement of this supposed northern en- 
velope, we are not yet in a position to speak positively. All 
we can do is to enter upon a few speculations in connection 
with these questions. 

What will most likely be felt as the great difficulty, is the 
difference between the valley containing a modern glacier, 
attended as it is by a mean inclination of three, four, or more 
degrees, and a wide extent of country without retaining walls, 
and with only certain inequalities throughout its surface. We 
see, it will be said, how gravitation will produce a flow in the 
one case, but not in the other. The difficulty, after all, will 
be found to rest chiefly on this supposed necessity for the force 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 267 

of gravitation to pull a glacier along in its bed ; for it so 
happens that the main effect of Professor Forbes' s investiga- 
tion, has been to impress such a notion, while the actual 
terms of his proposition are forgotten or overlooked. These 
were, that a glacier is " urged down a slope of a certain in- 
clination, by the mutual pressure of its parts." As far as I 
can understand the views of our learned associate, there is a 
hydrostatical pressure from a column of the same material 
acting on a superior level, and thus pushing along what is at 
the lower level. Mr Forbes says, " Pure fluid pressure, or 
what is commonly called hydrostatical pressure, depends not 
at all for its energy upon the slope of the fluid, but merely 
upon the difference of level of the two connected parts or 
ends of the mass under consideration." It appears that the 
less fluid the body, the less is this the case, from the resistance 
which the viscosity presents ; but, at the same time, the greater 
the viscosity, the more will the retardation due to friction be 
distributed throughout the mass ; so that the sliding of the 
bottom of the fluid over its bed, will be the more facilitated. 
The glacier, of course, being a highly viscous body, will be 
comparatively slow to yield to the hydrostatical pressure of the 
more elevated parts ; but it will, and does yield in a certain 
reduced degree, and its comparative viscosity ensures that 
its base shall not be left greatly behind its middle and super- 
ficial parts — that it must, in short, slide bodily, and so graze 
the bed or surface over which it moves. 

The question occurs, over how small an inclination will a 
mass constituted in the manner of a glacier slide'? We see 
glaciers in the Alps, moving at the rate of above two hun- 
dred yards in a year, over a bed with walls and impeding 
projections, which has a mean slope of 5°. Will it move at all 
over a very much smaller inclination 1 We have an answer 
on this point from Professor Forbes : — " Large and deep 
rivers," says he, " flow along a much smaller inclination than 
small and shallow ones. . . . The most certain analogy 
leads us to the same conclusion in the case of glaciers. We 
cannot, therefore, admit it to be any sufficient argument 
against the extension of ancient glaciers to the Jura, for ex- 
ample, that they have moved with a superficial slope of one 

268 R. Chambers, Esq,, on Glacial Phenomena 

degree, or ia some parts even of a half or quarter that amount, 
■whilst in existing glaciers the slope is seldom or never under 
3°. The declivity requisite to insure a given velocity, bears 
a simple reference to the dimensions of a stream. A stream 
of twice the length, breadth, and depth of another, will flow 
on a declivity half as great, and one of ten times the dimen- 
sion upon one-tenth of the slope.'' 

If this be the simple principle concerned where there is a 
declivity, it is easy to see that a very small declination from 
the north to the south of Scandinavia, or of Northern Ame- 
rica, would suffice to allow of a movement for the supposed 
general glaciers of those regions, seeing that there is toler- 
ably clear evidence of these glaciers having been on a scale 
of volume immensely exceeding the glaciers of the Alps. 
Judging from the abrasions they have left on hills, and the 
height to which their detritus extends, they must have been 
several thousands of feet in depth. 

But it appears as if it were not necessary that there should 
have been any sensible inclination of the general surface over 
which these supposed glaciers extended, if it be true, on the 
hydrostatical principle announced by Professor Forbes, that 
they would move under the influence of sufficient accumula- 
tions in any quarter, in the directions in which they found 
least resistance. Supposing such accumulations on circum- 
polar grounds, there would be a spreading movement to the 
south, liable to be affected to some extent by accidental im- 
pediments ; in short, very much such a movement as the 
glacial phenomena of northern countries lead us to expect. 
To such an extension of the operations we now see, it is only 
further necessary that the meteorological conditions should 
have been such as to maintain the plasticity of the material ; 
and this is a point on which we have assuredly no data that 
would at once and decisively negative the demands of the 
present theory. 

The nearest approach that we arc acquainted with in na- 
ture, to the case here supposed, appears to be that afforded 
by the phenomena of the land discovered by Sir James Ross 
in the 79th degree of south latitude. " The vessels were 
here stopped by a barrier of ice from 100 to 180 feet in 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 269 

height, and extending 300 miles from east to west. Beyond 
these ice-cliffs a chain of lofty mountains was discovered, 
rising from ten to twelve thousand feet in height, and covered 
with glaciers and ice-fields. From the sea-face of the frozen 
barrier reached by the vessels, huge masses were constantly 
breaking off, and floating northward, bearing with them frag- 
ments of rocks which had been derived from the mountains." 
Such is the description given. It appears that here was a 
tract of ice 300 miles in extent, moving outwards from land, 
with detritus. It must have been viscous ice, or it would 
have had no motion ; although, at its extremities, where the 
fragments were breaking off, a more solid character may have 
been assumed. It seems to realise, on a very considerable 
scale, the extensive glacier- sheet demanded by the phenomena 
of abrasion in the opposite portion of the globe. 

We have, from motives of convenience, withheld till now 
all but the most partial consideration of those superficial 
deposits which are so palpably connected with the present 
subject. It is obviously necessary that these should be ex- 
plained in harmony with any theory of the abraded surfaces 
which we can expect to be received. 

In Sweden, as far as my observations extended, the kind 
of matter usually found lying immediately upon the smoothed 
rocks, and in the lee of eminences, is a confused mixture of 
blocks of all sizes, imbedded in coarse sand and clay, with no 
sorting observable in any part. Very generally this mass is 
of a straw colour, and so exactly does it resemble the detri- 
tus found at the sides and skirts of existing glaciers, that I 
have been led to adopt for it the term Moraine Matter. It 
seems to be the direct and invariable effect of glaciation 
taking place on inclined ground under the atmosphere. This 
matter is, everywhere in Scandinavia, covered with beds of 
sorted gravel, sand, and clay, betokening a subsequent wa- 
tery action, as if the masses had been submerged, and a par- 
tial change effected on and about them by that means. In 
many places, this alluvial or aqueous formation is presented 
in ridges called osar, which traverse the country in determi- 
nate directions, often extending for many miles. Shells are 
found in the aqueous deposit, but never, as far as I have 


270 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

heard, in the subjacent moraine matter. Besides these for- 
mations, there is the still more superficial one of erratic 
blocks, which, affiliated to Sweden and Finland, extend south- 
ward into Denmark, Germany, and Russia, at least as far as 
the 50th parallel. These rocks are less worn than those of 
the lowest deposit, and yet are carried much farther. It is 
likewise of importance to observe, that they have been car- 
ried over the intervening line of the Valdai Hills, which 
rise from 800 to 1100 feet above the sea. 

The superficial deposits of Northern America bear a gene- 
ral resemblance, in their important features, to those of 
Northern Europe. 

In our island, the superficial deposits constitute a series, 
of which no fewer than six, if not seven, members have been 
described by some observers, though it is seldom that so 
many are present at one place. 

One noted deposit very generally found resting on the rocks 
in Scotland, is the Boulder Clay (No. 1.) It consists of a 
remarkably compact menstruum of clay, blue, black, or of 
some lighter colour, totally impervious to water, and only 
assailable by the pickaxe ; which breaks with irregular frac- 
ture ; has no trace of lamination ; and through which are in- 
terspersed blocks of all sizes, which have travelled from places 
within forty or fifty miles, usually rounded, often worn into 
a sort of sole on one side, presenting striae or scratches. 
This deposit is found, in Mid-Lothian, nearly 1000 feet 
above the sea, and, in some places, is stated to be not less 
than 160 feet deep ; shewing an amount and extent of 
operation for the abrading agent in which it took its rise, 
perfectly enormous. A railway cutting made in this deposit 
on Middleton Muir, in a situation not less than 700 feet above 
the sea, was about fifty feet thick. 

In the valleys of the Forth and Clyde, where the boulder 
clay is very largely developed, the included blocks are all 
from the westward, the direction of the agent which has pro- 
duced the furrowing and striation of the district. At several 
places, strata cropping out westward under the clay, have been 
found bending off back to the east, with the clay insinuated 
in the gap, clearly proving at once an east-going force, and a 
partially liquid state of the clay at the time of its deposition. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 271 

At Linksfield, near Elgin, there is a horizontal chink be- 
tween a limestone bed and the superior oolite strata, from 
three to four feet deep, and this is filled for several hundred 
yards inward from its mouth with boulder clay, which has 
found an entrance from the north-west, and scratched the 
planes above and below, between which it has been in- 

In a few isolated situations, a bed of sand has been found 
between the boulder clay and the subjacent rocks, and Mr 
Milne Home mentions an instance in which some of the ma- 
terials of this sand could be traced to an easterly situation. 

The generally azoic character of the boulder clay is one of 
its most remarkable features. Besides a fragment of an ele- 
phant's tusk, represented as having been found in it by some 
workmen in 1820 at Cliftonhall, in Mid-Lothian, Mr Milne 
Home, who gave great attention to the formation and its his- 
tory, had never, in 1838, heard of a single instance of organic 
matter found in connection with it. More recently, shells of 
the existing epoch have been found by Mr John Cleghorn, libe- 
rally scattered through its depths in Caithness ; but they are 
all water- worn, and can, therefore, be only classed with the 
inorganic materials. Mr Smith of Jordanhill discovered shells 
in the like state in the boulder clay ; and Mr Carrick Moore 
lately announced an entire valve of Astarte compressor, as 
being found by him in the same formation in Wigton shire, — 
a solitary exception to the rule. 

I have only within the last few days been made acquainted 
by Mr Hugh Miller, with a curious and, as yet, unrecorded 
feature of this mysterious deposit, as it occurs in our own 
neighbourhood. It is well known that between Leith and 
Portobello, and between Portobello and Fisherrow, there is 
a cliff of the boulder clay on which the sea is making per- 
petual aggressions. The beach in these places is partly com- 
posed of a rough though levelled platform of boulder clay, 
with some huge blocks resting on it here and there that 
have been washed out of the superior mass, now carried away. 
At several places the eye can detect a narrow train of blocks 
crossing the line of beach, somewhat like a quay or mole, but 
not more than a foot above the general level, and not at a 

T 2 

272 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

right angle to the line of the coast. All of these blocks have 
flat sides uppermost, and all of these flat sides are striated in 
one direction, — namely, in that of the line of blocks. There 
are also some appearances of a hollow on the surfaces of these 
curious pavements, as Mr Miller calls them, as if some enor- 
mous wheel had run along the surface in that direction, and 
left in it a slight track. What is of the highest importance, 
the line of the blocks, and that of the striation, are from 
about WSW., both at Seafleld and at Magdalen Bridge, 
(examples three miles apart,) this being the direction of the 
striation upon the fast rock throughout the whole of our dis- 
trict, so that the presumption for a community of cause be- 
comes very strong. There is, in short, a surface of the 
boulder clay, deep down in the entire bed, which, to appear- 
ance, has been in precisely the same circumstances as the 
fast rock -surface below had previously been. It has had in 
its turn to sustain the weight and abrading force of the glacial 
agent, in whatever form it was applied ; and the additional 
deposit of the boulder clay left over this surface, may be pre- 
sumed to have been formed by the agent on that occasion. 

Professor Fleming, to whose superior experience I am 
much beholden in this part of my subject, assures me that 
the deposit most generally found in our district over the 
boulder clay is a fine laminated clay, or silt, evidently derived 
from the preceding formation, in which it sometimes fills up 
considerable irregularities. This is the clay generally wrought 
for bricks and tiles throughout Scotland, so that we may be 
said to be indebted remotely to these glacial phenomena, both 
for the houses which shelter us, and the increase of food re- 
quired by the exigencies of a large population. 

The laminated clay is succeeded by, or perhaps we ought 
rather to say, associated with, an abundant formation of fine 
sand, disposed in beds, and intercalated with gravel. Very 
often there are interlacings of the sand and the clay, or curi- 
ous nests of sand within the clay, shewing rapid and abrupt 
alternations of conditions in the sea, in which the whole had 
been formed. In this compound formation, as I venture to call 
it (No. 2), shells are found — My a truncata, Saccicava sul- 
cata, Tellina calcarea, Astarteborealis, Cyprina islandica, 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 273 

Mytilus umbilicatus, Littorina littorea, Buccinum undatum, 
Natica clausa, Balanus sulcatus, suggesting an arctic cha- 
racter in the sea of the period. Remains of large quadrupeds 
have also been found in this set of deposits. In the deep 
beds wrought for bricks at Portobello, large trees are reported 
as having been found by^the workmen, and thought by them 
to be of oak ; as also, bones " as thick as a man's thigh." 
They are likewise understood to have found hazel nuts lying 
on the surface of the deposit. 

This evidently aqueous formation of a tranquil era, during 
which there had been dry land inhabited by the elephant, 
rhinoceros, stag, and other large mammalia, is succeeded by 
what Mr Milne Home calls the coarse gravel or stony clay, 
but what is more generally recognised in Scotland as the 
till, being the subsoil of many of our fields (No. 3). This 
formation may be described as a layer of rough stones, em- 
bedded in a light -coloured clay, not so thick as the boulder 
clay generally is, while the included blocks are also of smaller 
size. It has no laminae, no organic remains, and has all the 
appearance of having been the product of violent agencies. 
It appears to be often confounded with the boulder clay, and 
thus has given rise to some serious mistakes regarding the 
arrangement of the superficial deposits. It is often, how- 
ever, placed immediately over the surface of the rocks. 

Over this again comes a new series of sand-beds (No. 4), 
containing thin layers of gravel, and fragments of coal, — a very 
wide-spread formation in our immediate neighbourhood, and 
throughout Scotland generally. Mr Milne Home found it at 
Blackshiels, 700 feet above the sea, and it probably exists at 
greater elevations. This very careful observer had not heard 
of any shells being ever found in it. 

The same gentleman has described a raised beach which 
extends along the Firth of Forth, (No. 5,) rising from fifteen 
feet in the east, to about thirty in the west, above the level 
of the sea, in which he found beds of shells of existing 
species ; and this appears, from his description, to be an in- 
tercalated formation, though probably represented by some 
of the shell-bearing beds found by Mr Smith of Jordanhill, 
and Mr John Craig, in the basin of the Clyde. The bed is 

274 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

one of exceeding value in the present disquisition, as it indi- 
cates that at this particular period, the relative level of sea 
and land, in our district at least, had been reduced from the 
high point denoted in the preceding formation, down to one 
not more than thirty feet above the present. It was a period, 
in short, of extensive dry land. As might be expected, the 
rivers had in this period worn out hollows in the solid struc- 
ture of the country ; amongst other such cuttings was that 
of the Water of Leith at the Dean, in our own neighbourhood. 
So, at least, Mr Milne Home infers, and with good reason, 
from finding on the sides of that hollow, a bed of the next 

This was a third boulder bed (No. 6), a drift of coarse 
gravel, connected with the well-known erratics, which, how- 
ever, are very generally superficial. This formation must 
be regarded as, in our district, consequent upon a deep and 
abrupt re-immersion, for it spreads up to elevations even 
higher than the boulder clay. The long ridges of gravel, 
called in Scotland kames, and identical in character with the 
osar of Sweden, and eskers of Ireland, belong to this forma- 
tion ; and the various ancient beaches which can be traced 
from several hundred feet above the sea, down to its present 
level, may be considered as the memorials of stages or pauses 
in the subsequent and final emergence of the land. The 
vegetable soil completes the entire series, being the product 
of historic times. 

In the basin of the Clyde, there are some differences in the 
suite of deposits, though the general harmony is sufficiently 
clear. Mr John Craig describes the following series as ex- 
isting at Glasgow : — 

( Sand under Trongate. 

4. < Laminated clays with recent marine shells ; newer 
I portion containing only fresh-water shells, as physa. 

3. Boulder till. (What are below appear at Bell's Park.) 

2. Sand. 

1. Lower boulder till. 

The boulder till (No. 1), at Bell's Park, contains an abun- 
dance of worn and striated boulders, and the subjacent sand- 
stone exposed in making the Caledonian Railway Station 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 21 h 

presented, within the last two years, a piece of polished and 
scratched surface, which, however, has since been quarried. 
The blocks are of granite, porphyritic traps, mica-slate, 
greywacke, red sandstone conglomerate, and quartzose rock, 
all of which are found in the Highlands many miles to the 
north-west ; besides some less worn coal, sandstone, and car- 
boniferous limestone, from the immediate neighbourhood of 

In another situation, between Greenock and Port-Glas- 
gow, Mr Smith of Jordanhill found the following deposits, 
which, as in the above case, we venture to assign to their 
relative places by numbers:* — 

Vegetable soil. 

3. Coarse gravel, two feet. 

{Sand, ten feet. 
A series of thin beds of sand, gravel, and clay, full of 
sea-shells ; (33 species found at two visits). 

1. Diluvium. 

The same diligent observer has described a deposit of shells 
found at Airdrie, in digging a coal shaft, at a spot 524 feet 
above the sea i\ — 
3. Upper till. 

2. Stratified clay, in connection with which the shells were 


1. Lower till. 
It must be admitted that there is some uncertainty in assign- 
ing these relations, the imperfection of the description making 
certainty for the present impossible. 

The superficial formations of England have been de- 
scribed by various local observers, but with such a want of 
concert and relation, that it is extremely difficult to reduce 
them to any conformity even amongst themselves, much more 
to bring them into harmony with those of Scotland. 

The region of Siluria — the south-east-looking slope of the 
hills of North Wales, and adjacent districts of Herefordshire, 
Worcestershire, and Salop — is described by Sir Roderick 
Murchison, as presenting a local drift — that is, a drift com- 

* Memoirs of Wernerian Soc, viii. \ Quar. Jour. Gcol. Soc, vi. 386. 

276 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

posed of materials derived either from mountains forming 
the north-western limits of the country, or from rocks of the 
very district where the materials are found. {t Not only the 
valleys, but various elevated combs and basin-shaped cavi- 
ties, as well as the slopes and escarpments of hills, are 
strewed sometimes with boulders, coarse gravel, and clay, at 
others with finely comminuted materials. ... In pass- 
ing to the south-east, the coarse boulders disappear, and the 
gravel becomes more and more finely comminuted, shewing 
that the direction of the drift has been from the north-west.'' 
Connected with this drift are proofs of extensive denudation, 
such as the conical hills called the Pyons, lying five miles from 
the principal masses with which they were once connected, 
the valley of the Severn lying between, — and the lofty peak 
Pen-cerrig-calch, an outlier of the South "Wales coal-field 
divided from its principal by an intervening valley twelve or 
fifteen hundred feet deep. 

Sir Roderick further describes a central tract of Western 
England, composed of large portions of Lancashire, Cheshire, 
Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucester- 
shire, where the local drift is overlaid by a drift which has 
come from the north, bearing fragments of granite and other 
rocks, of which the original position is comparatively distant, 
and in which are found deposits of shells of existing species. 
He conceives that Siluria had been dry land at the time 
when a northern sea-current deposited this higher and later 

The same northern drift lies in large masses on the north 
coast of North Wales, and in elevated portions of the Snow- 
donian region, where shells have been found in it at 1392 
and 2200 feet above the sea ; but, as has been remarked, it 
seems to have been swept out of the Snowdonian valleys by 
comparatively modern glaciers. 

Professor Phillips describes the drift in a part of England 
more to the northward. Masses of the porphyrinic granite 
of Shap Fell, and portions of other highly peculiar rocks be- 
longing to the Lake country, have been carried " northward 
in the vale of the Eden to Carlisle, southward by the Lune 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 277 

and the Kent to the barren tract between Bolland Forest 
and the bay of Morecambe, and from the vicinity of Lancas- 
ter they are traced at intervals through the comparatively 
low country of Preston and Manchester, lying between the 
sea and the Yorkshire and Derbyshire hills, to the valley of 
the Trent, the plains of Cheshire and Staffordshire, and the 
vale of the Severn, where they occur of great magnitude. 
It thus appears that the Pennine chain, ranging north and 
south, acted as a great natural dam, limiting the eastward 
distribution of the blocks ; but at Stainmoor, directly east 
of Shap Fells, a comparatively low part of the chain (1400 
feet above the sea), granite from Shap Fell, which is 1500 
feet, as well as sienitic rocks from Barrock Fell, which 
is 2200 feet, and red conglomeratic masses from Kirby 
Stephen, only 500 feet above the sea, have been drifted over 
the ridge. This great boundary passed, the blocks are scat- 
tered from Stainmoor, as from a new centre, to Darlington, 
Redcar, Stokesley, Osmotherly, Thirsk, and the whole front 
of the Hambleton hills ; they have gone down the whole 
length of the vale of York, and by the base of the chalk 
wolds to the Humber." To the south of the point of pas- 
sage here described, the boulders of the Lake district lie up 
against the Pennine chain " in enormous quantity, and in 
the most inextricable confusion, not to be explained by any- 
thing like the action of the sea on its coasts, even during 
the most violent storms." 

In Norfolk, the series of superficial deposits is thus set 
down by Sir Charles Lyell : 

3. Erratics. 

2. Fresh-water deposits, with beds of lignite and subma- 

rine forests. 

1. Un stratified clay or till, lying on the Norwich Crag. 
Mr Trimmer describes the superficial deposits of the coun- 
try between Congleton and Macclesfield, as follows : 

3. Upper Erratics : sand and gravel ; large northern 


2. Till : " a red clay containing many small fragments 

having a northern origin, and much detritus derived 

278 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

from the neighbouring chain. 1 ' Contains scratched 
fragments, but these supposed to be local. Frag- 
ments of shells. 

1. Sand, a deep bed, with erratic detritus. 

At Weymouth, according to Sir Henry de la Beche,* the 
rocks, inclusive of the chalk, have been subjected to great 
disturbance, producing enormous faults ; but the surface has 
subsequently been exposed to " a tremendous inundation, 
which has swept away all the rubbish and ruins of the ele- 
vated masses, and has excavated valleys of many hundred 
feet in depth on the surface of the strata that remain. Out- 
lying summits composed of residuary portions of the strata 
which are continuous along the escarpments on the north 
and east of the valley of Bredy, indicate the original conti- 
nuity of these strata over large portions of that district from 
which they have been removed.'' 

In the district of Chatham and Rochester, according to Mr 
R. Dadd,t there is the following series of deposits above the 
upper chalk : 

4. Alluvium. 

3. Diluvium : from 6 to 10 feet thick ; water-worn chalk, 
with unworn flints. Remains of deer, elephant, rhino- 
ceros, &c. 

2. London clay. 

1. Plastic clay. Shells of ostrea, cyclas, and cerithium. 

Amidst the obscurities produced by the want of a uniform 
nomenclature, it is easy to see that the till, diluvium, and 
northern drift are all one formation, identical with the till 
or second boulder clay of Scotland. In the Silurian region 
there is a lower drift, marked, like the lower or true boulder 
clay of Scotland, by the comparatively local character of the 
detritus, and which may be presumed to be contemporary 
with that formation. Over the till or northern drift, again, 
there are other deposits of a tranquil ocean, as in Scotland. 
There are also, as in Scotland, about this part of the series, 
remains of land vegetation. Subsequently come large un- 

* Geol. Proceedings, i., 220. t Ibid., i., 482. 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 279 

worn northern erratics, generally occupying a superficial po- 
sition. Thus the sequence of events seems the same over 
the island, though all are not everywhere expressed, — a re- 
sult which no geologist will have any difficulty in accounting 

It must be evident, when the whole subject of the superficial 
deposits is thus analysed, that the vague general view which 
is often taken of it by geologists, is one which can only be 
entertained in defiance of facts. It is placed beyond all ques- 
tion, that these deposits form the record, not of one epoch, 
when our land was under a glacial sea charged with icebergs, 
but of a succession of conditions in which the land sunk and 
rose, and sunk and rose again, and during which phenomena 
of very various character took place. It is not possible, in 
the present state of the investigation, to speak with precision 
of this succession of conditions and phenomena ; but 1 may 
venture to point out what the facts suggest in the case, so 
far as we are yet acquainted with them, leaving to future in- 
quirers to make such modifications of my provisional view of 
the matter as may appear necessary. 

The more general glaciation which has here been described, 
with its attendant memorial of a detritus of striated local 
blocks and clay, points to a wide extension of the circum- 
polar ice, and a southern movement of that envelope, in 
the course of which the surface was abraded and the detritus 
produced. This icy sheet is shewn, however, not to have been 
everywhere in precisely the same condition as a glacier of the 
Alps, for there is a difference in the character of its detri- 
tus. The boulder clay indicates a comparatively fluid state 
of the ice, whether from passing across shallow seas, as it- 
may have often done, or simply because the water which it- 
self produced rested amongst its particles, instead of being 
drained away, as it always is, in a valley glacier. There being 
in the detritus of this glaciation no far transported blocks, 
I attribute to the severity of the attrition to which they were 
subjected. With this glaciation, moreover, is connected much 
of that denudation which has hitherto been attributed exclu- 
sively to floods. 

After this glacial period, the land had been partly sub- 

280 R. Chambers, Esq., on Glacial Phenomena 

merged ; those parts which remained above the waves were 
the residence of the large mammalia, while under the waters 
there took place deposits of plastic clay, washed off from the 
boulder clay, alternating with beds of sand, of which the 
materials were obtained from the hills. 

Next succeeded a new cold period, in which the masses of 
the land produced glaciers descending with their subaerial 
detritus into the sea, as we see at this day in Spitzbergen. 
Borne along in determinate directions by currents, the ice- 
borne detritus was strewed along the sea-bottom, so as to 
form the till of Scotland, the drift of England, and the cor- 
responding deposits of Northern Europe and America. 

This also passed away, giving place to renewed deposits 
of sand and gravel under an ordinary sea. 

Then was a period of larger extent of dry land, — larger, 
even, than what now exists. Districts now little above the 
level of the sea, and some a little below it, were then so far 
elevated as to be subjected to a comparatively severe tem- 
perature. What are now low grounds in Hampshire, bore 
the coniferse and other trees now proper to the Scottish hills. 
Snowdonia, the Lake Country, Assynt, the Cuchullin Hills, 
and other districts in Scotland, were the seats of glaciers 
like those now existing in the Alps, by which the detritus of 
an earlier cold period were swept out of the valleys forming 
their beds. 

Then came another deep submergence, attended still by 
great cold. Masses of ice floating away from the insulated 
hills, bore off large blocks in the direction of the prevalent 
currents, and thus the Criffel granite became strewed in Cum- 
berland, and the Shap granite was transported to the plains 
of Salop and the vale of York. 

The emergence consequent upon this state of things, still 
attended by a low temperature and a transportation of erra- 
tics, was by stages, to which must be attributed the ancient 
beaches now traceable over the face of the country. 

Perhaps the most valuable effect of the facts here adduced 
is in the light which they throw upon the great, but hitherto 
mysterious processes of denudation and the formation of val- 
leys. To suppose water capable of cutting out all the wide 

in Scotland and Parts of England. 281 

and deep spaces which exist between the principal masses of 
certain formations and their outliers, has always appeared to 
me a violent supposition, and one with which we could not 
rest. When, surveying the Old Red Sandstone district of 
Sutherland and Ross shires, I found the enormous relics of 
that formation, and the vast spaces left between them, marked 
with the traces of an agent possessed of much higher mecha- 
nical force, I felt how much more satisfactory it would be to re- 
gard that as the great denudator, though certainly not to the 
exclusion of water, the wearing force of which is everywhere 
conspicuous within its own limits. To the south of Lake 
Wenern, in Sweden, there is a series of hills, of about 700 feet 
high, composed of horizontal transition strata, and the gneiss 
surfaces between are all polished.* This is a case perfectly 
parallel to that of the Ross-shire mountains, and doubtless 
many other instances might be found. Valleys are generally 
formed in the lines of ancient breaks or faults. Such is the 
case with the valleys of the Lake Country. But as Mr Hop- 
kins remarks — " The inspection of a model in which heights 
and distances are on the same scale, must make it apparent 
that the actual widths of the valleys in question could not 
possibly be derived from the fractures in which we may con- 
ceive them to have originated."! It is equally evident that 
after certain longitudinal and descending hollows had been 
formed by fracture, these, becoming the seats of moving ice, 
would in time be widened to the extent which we now behold. 

* Bohtlink; Edin. New Phil. Jour., Oct. 1841. 
t Quar. Jour. Geol. Society, iv., 86. 


















P S 






















f— 1 














•i s 

•£» co 

t, •* u 

5 1c 2 


o 3 

Captain James ow Meteorological Phenomena. 





eo 4* eo <? 
ire ire ■* co 

O00 *N 
IN CI X l> 

© © © © 

HfflHNdl -* CN 

<N i-H © © 

o tooos 

IN CN 00 00 


00 H ID W H 
IN lis l> i « 


ire co ire ■* 



en OS "5 — < 00 CO ■* 

fl(N 00h 


Ci Oi OS t*» 

CI t- o 00 

* (D f) w 
CO CO 00 t^ 


co co o o o 

O * MIS H 

co co co »re co 

CI o »oi 

o ire © ■<*> 

"5 ■* » N 

© © © © 

<N © 00 -H 

H (O IO » 

« a o) » 
© © © © 

© *<♦* en cc co ire h^ 

CO © CO rH 


O c3 

u £ « 

S a> o 

i in- 

O ,Q *> 


en th ire ire m 

H K3 S 115 W 

i« ire >re t*< >« 

00 o © -* 

© —< CO t— 
CM CO fr, CO 

s cs o) ^ oi © ire 

1^ T* CO -H 

ire eo so c© 

CN in r>» o 

© © © © 

CN r-l ^ 

? ? 7 1 ? ? 
if-i ire io so ?-> 

© <N CN rH 


<N <N CO t- 

© © © © 

I ! 

2 00 I 

SN HH Hh (N HH CO •<* 

co eo •* co ire 

IN © •* CO 


N * « O 

<-* IN © t~ 

<n <n 00 t- 

© © © © 

(NO 00 i-l O IN © 

H< CO 


00 © 

eo eo h< ire 

CM •* SO SO 

(N IN 00 00 

© © © © 

^ a si g .a g s . a 


a. a s a 

-< fc ■< Pk 

Oi co Ga w 

g, a S 5 j fc 

r! «» a : .3 

H » >> O ■ es 

2 ?» 5 ^ -I 

g(J B 

c|S ; 

5 « e« • * 

5 c ™ B « 

5 5 

fa p; « p 

e« ^ fc. o 

s «< 

= r oj 

h rS a 

S o o 

c3 w q 

B'H » 

iS X 
rt ^ • 

&a § 

O ^ 

■5 tj 

a « 
'£ o 


S rC 


T3 p, 

« a 

^3 2. 

a) ** 

: •** o 
: a S 

"5 a 'a ij 

- a o g 

g « •- « 

3 2 o 

o *r-3 © 

as .S *<-i • 

S O C rH 


•a es 

s ^ 

'g Oh 
3 fe 

O 0> c8 -w 

i 2 

o ** 


os <n ■* en 

M ff> * » t> M c. 

rt I 

IN r-t CO CO IN 

. W . pq £ j- ^ 

Captain James on Meteorological Phenomena. 283 


1. Barometric Pressure. — 

The Maximum height observed was on the 7th 

March, at 9 a.m =30612 

The Minimum height observed was on the 27th 

December, at 9 a.m == 27*895 

Extreme range during the year,...= 2*717 

So great a depression of the barometer has not occurred 
since January 1839. On the 13th of that month, Mr Adie 
informs me the height corrected for altitude was 27*53, 
when, as on the 27th December last, there was a violent 
storm, which, from observations made, was no doubt a rota- 
tory storm. The depression observed by Mr Adie was the 
greatest (as far as I can learn) which has ever been recorded 
in Edinburgh. 

It will be observed that the mean height of the barometer 
at 9 A.M., for each month, is higher than the mean height at 
3 P.M., with the exception of the month of December. This 
abnormal result was caused by the sudden rise of the baro- 
meter on the 27th between those hours, amounting to *419, 
which, on the mean of the month, overpowered the difference 
due to the influence of temperature at the hours of observa- 
tion, though it very slightly affected the means for the year. 

It will also be observed that the mean height was greatest 
in March, closely following the lowest mean temperature of 
the air, and that the mean height was lowest in August, 
closely following the highest mean temperature. This fact, 
coupled with the fact that the barometer is always higher at 
9 A.M. than at 3 P.M., whilst the temperature of the air is al- 
ways lower in the morning than in the afternoon, seems to 
prove that the effect of an increase of temperature, by caus- 
ing the air to expand and become specifically lighter, pro- 
duces a corresponding depression in the barometer ; but as 
the amount of vapour in the air, and the influence of clouds 
and currents in the upper strata of the atmosphere constantly 
disturbs the effect of increased or decreased temperature at 

284 Captain James on Meteorological Phenomena. 

the surface of the earth, we are not able to express numeri- 
cally the effect of any increase or decrease in the tempera- 
ture of the air upon the barometer ; but it has been shewn 
by Colonel Sabine, that when the pressure due to the amount 
of vapour in the air is deducted from the height of the baro- 
meter, that the influence of temperature upon the dry air is 
to produce a daily maximum and minimum, coinciding nearly 
with the coldest and the warmest hours. 

2. Temperature of the air. — 

The maximum temperature registered on the 4th 

July, :.=r81°5 

The minimum temperature registered on the 19th 

February, , = 26°-0 

Extreme range during the year, =55°* 5 

The approximate mean temperature of the air for the year 
= 48 0, 95, which is probably 2° or 3° higher than the mean 
temperature of the air in the neighbourhood, in places beyond 
the influence of the heat and shelter of the houses. 

3. Humidity. — The degree of humidity of the air has so 
sensible an effect upon health, particularly on persons with 
delicate lungs, or those subject to irritability of the skin, 
that it is much to be wondered at that medical men in gene- 
ral have paid so little attention to it, and more especially as 
the instrument for measuring the humidity of the air in any 
room is so simple and inexpensive. The gardener knows it 
is not sufficient that his greenhouse should be kept at a cer- 
tain temperature, but takes care that his plants shall have 
also the requisite degree of moisture in the air ; without this 
the plants droop ; and beyond doubt there is a certain degree of 
moisture which is also necessary to the health of man. Every 
sick room therefore should have a dry and wet bulb hygro- 
meter ; and if the medical man considers that the tempera- 
ture should be preserved at 60°, then the wet bulb thermo- 
meter should indicate 55°, which would shew the air to be 
•75, or three-fourths saturated with moisture. 

The amount of moisture might be regulated by exposing a 
larger or smaller surface of water to evaporate, for which the 

Dr F. Penny on the Valuation of Indigo, 285 

numerous vases and other ornamental vessels usually found 
in drawing rooms would be found available. 

4. Rain.— The greatest quantity of rain which fell in one 
day during the year was 1*37 inches, on the 24th August ; 
this is one-third more than fell during the entire months of 
March and April. 

5. Wind. — It will be seen from the table of the direction of 
the wind, that it blows at 9 A.M. 2J times more frequently 
from the W to S. arc than from the E. to N. arc ; the num- 
bers being 199 days from the SW. arc, and 90 days from the 
NE, arc, and that the NE. winds are the least prevalent 
throughout the year, occurring principally in the spring and 

On the Valuation of Indigo. By Dr Frederick Penny, 
F.C.S., Professor of Chemistry in the Andersonian Uni- 
versity, Glasgow. 

Several methods have been employed for estimating the 
comparative value of commercial indigo. 

The colorimetric processes with chlorine, proposed by Ber- 
thollet, and first practically applied by Descroizilles, have 
been most extensively tried, and have been fully described by 
Berzelius,* Chevreul,f Schlumberger,J Schubart,§ Persoz, || 
and others. In these processes chlorine-water or bleaching- 
powder was used as the source of the chlorine. 

Bolley % has proposed chlorate of potash and hydrochloric 
acid as the source of chlorine, and has reported very favour- 
ably of the results obtained by operating upon specimens of 
various qualities. 

Some chemists consider that the only method of accurately 
determining the value of this article consists in removing the 

* Traite de Chimie. t Le9ons de Chimie appliquee a la Teinture. 

X Bullet, de la Soc. Industr. xv. 277. § Tech. Chimie. 

|| Traite de PImpression des Tissus. «[ Ann. Ch. Pharm. 1850, 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVI1I. — APRIL 1853. U 

28G Dr Frederick Penny on the 

various impurities by the successive action of diluted acid, 
caustic alkali, alcohol and water, and then ascertaining the 
quantity of indigo-blue that remains, the ash being deducted 
in the usual manner. Others, again, prefer the process of 
reducing the indigo-blue by deoxidizing agents, and after- 
wards precipitating and collecting it in the pure state. This 
method was, about the commencement of the present century, 
adopted by Pringle,* who employed the well-known mate- 
rials, sulphate of iron and lime, as the reducing and dissolv- 
ing agents, and separated the indigo-blue from the clarified 
solution with hydrochloric acid. The operations involved in 
this process are exceedingly tedious, and in consequence of 
the peculiar property which reduced indigo has of forming 
two distinct combinations with lime, the one soluble, and the 
other insoluble (a fact not known to Pringle) ; the results 
afforded by it are not always satisfactory. 

Dana "J has recommended another method, based, however, 
on the same principles. It consists in boiling the indigo in 
caustic soda, and cautiously adding protochloride of tin until 
the indigo-blue is completely reduced and dissolved ; the clear 
solution is then precipitated by bichromate of potash, and the 
precipitate being well washed with dilute hydrochloric acid, 
is dried and weighed. • 

Fritzche J has suggested cane-sugar, alcohol, and caustic 
soda for the reduction and solution of the indigo-blue. His 
process, which appears, however, to be better adapted for the 
preparation of pure indigo, than for testing its value, has 
been repeated and favourably spoken of by Marchand ; and 
Berzelius says, that it surpasses all other methods that have 
been employed for obtaining indigo-blue in a state of purity. 

Ohcvreul's method of dyeing cotton until the indigo-solu- 
tion is exhausted is obviously very objectionable. 

Reinsch,§ after trying various modes, prefers that of dis- 
solving a grain and a half of the indigo in concentrated sul- 
phuric acid, and then estimating its comparative value by the 

■'■• An-; il'- d<js Arts ct Manufac. vi., 214-239. 

t .!. \>v. Cheua. xx vi., 398. J J. pr. Chem. xxviii. 16. 

§ Jahrb. prak. Phi 

Valuation of Indigo. 287 

quantity of water required to be added to reduce the colour 
of the solution to a certain shade. This process, which is 
simple and convenient, is in every respect similar to that 
long since applied by Ure,* though Persoz t ascribes it to 

The advantages and disadvantages of these processes have 
been so fully discussed by Bolley in his paper, before referred 
to, that it is unnecessary, I conceive, to make any further 
comment on their respective merits. 

The method I have now to propose, is based upon the cir- 
cumstance that indigo-blue in presence of hydrochloric acid, 
is decolorised by bichromate of potash. This salt has long 
been used for discharging indigo-blue and other colours in 
the printing of textile fabrics, as well as for bleaching oils, 
fats, and several other substances. In employing it for esti- 
mating the comparative value of commercial indigo, the 
necessary manipulations are extremely simple. 

Ten grains of the sample, in very fine powder, are carefully 
triturated with two drachms by measure of fuming sulphuric 
acid, and the mixture being excluded from the air is allowed 
to digest with occasional stirring for twelve or fourteen hours. 
A small flat-bottomed flask with a tightly fitting cork, is a 
very convenient vessel for this operation. Some pieces of 
broken glass should however be thrown in to facilitate the 
contact of the indigo and acid during the agitation, and thus 
to prevent the aggregation of the former into small clots, 
which the acid by itself cannot penetrate. If a small capsule 
or test-glass be used, it should be covered, during the diges- 
tion, with an air-tight gas-jar. It will also be found advan- 
tageous to place the mixture in a warm situation, say be- 
tween 70° and 80° F., that the action of the acid may be fully 
developed ; a higher temperature than this must be avoided, 
as sulphurous acid is liable to be produced, and the trial in 
consequence completely vitiated. Great care must be taken 

i to insure the perfect solution of the indigo-blue in the acid. 
This result being accomplished, the solution is poured slowly, 

j with constant stirring, into a pint of water contained in a 

* J. Roy. Inst., 1830. t Traite des Tissus, i. 434. 

u 2 

288 Dr Frederick Penny on the 

basin, and j of a volume ounce of strong hydrochloric acid 
immediately added, the flask or capsule being rinsed clean 
with water. 

An alkalimeter of 100 equal measures, is now made up in 
the usual way with 1\ grains of dry and pure bichromate of 
potash, and the solution added in small successive portions 
to the diluted sulphate of indigo in the basin, until a drop of 
the mixture, on being let fall on a white slab or slip of bi- 
bulous paper, presents a distinct light brown or ochre shade, 
unmixed with any blue or green. The process is then finished; 
the number of measures of bichromate used is read off, and 
this number shews the comparative value of the indigo sub- 
jected to the trial. 

In applying the test-drop to the bibulous paper, the best 
results are obtained by bringing the end of a glass rod into 
contact with the indigo- solution, and then gently pressing it 
against the surface of the paper. The stain thus produced 
will be circular, and conveniently localised to a small space. 
By using bibulous paper, it will also be found much easier to 
recognise the last traces of the blue colour than when a slab 
is employed, and the results, when dry, may be preserved 
unchanged, for reference or comparison. 

It is advisable to keep the indigo-solution gently heated 
while the chrome-liquor is being added ; and it is essentially 
necessary that the mixture should be well stirred after each 
addition. Several measures of the chrome-solution may at 
first be poured in without risk of error, but towards the con- 
clusion, the liquor must be added very slowly and with great 
care, as one or two drops will then be found to produce a very 
decided effect. The characteristic changes of colour which 
the mixture undergoes during the addition of the chrome-so- 
lution, will distinctly indicate the approach of the process to- 
wards conclusion. The blue colour of the solution gradually 
diminishes in intensity, becoming perceptibly lighter and 
lighter, and after a time it acquires a greenish shade, which 
soon changes to greenish-brown, and almost immediately to 

light ochre-brown. 

I have tried this process very carefully upon pure indigo, 
prepared according to Fritzche's method. The mean of three 

Valuation of Indigo. 289 

experiments, which gave results almost identically the same, 
shewed that 10 grains of pure indigo require very nearly 7 \ 
grains of bichromate of potash ; and I have accordingly taken 
this quantity of the salt for solution in the alkalimeter. 

The following table contains the results of trials upon three 
series of specimens of commercial indigo, and includes like- 
wise the price of each sample, and the amount of ash left 
after careful incineration, as well as the moisture expelled at 
212°. The first series of samples was obtained from an in- 
digo broker in London ; the second from Messrs C. Tennant 
and Co., Glasgow ; and the third from Messrs E. and I. Hen- 
derson, Glasgow. 


East Indian 










per cent. 

per cent 

s. d. 

6 4 








5 9 




5 6 




4 9 




4 8 




4 4 




4 3 




3 10 




3 6 




2 10 







s. d. 


per cent. 

per cent 

Bengal . . 

. 5 
. 4 9 






Benares . . 

. 4 6 





. 4 3 




Madras . . 

. 3 8 




Oude . . 

. 3 8 




Carraccas . 

. 3 6 


16 2 


Madras . . 

. 2 9 




290 Dr F. Penny on the Valuation of Indigo. 







». d. 


per cent. 

per cent, 

Java . . . . 

5 6 




Bengal . . . . 

4 10 




J? . . . . 





jj i 

3 4 




}j . . . . 

1 6 




Manilla, . . . 

3 4 









The results in these tables clearly shew the uncertainty, 
and in several instances the positive inaccuracy, of the com- 
mon methods at present employed by commercial men for 
estimating the true value of this article. The indications of 
quality afforded by colour, fracture, texture, coppery hue 
when rubbed, cleanliness, weight, and other characters, should 
always, in my opinion, be confirmed by the application of a 
simple chemical process, such as I have here described. The 
objection, on the score of the time consumed, so strongly 
urged against many of the other methods, is certainly not 
chargeable against this ; for, by steeping the indigo in the 
acid over-night, twenty or thirty samples at least could be 
easily tested in a day, and at a trifling expense. 

I may mention that there was recently sent me for exami- 
nation, a specimen of indigo, offered in Glasgow as refined 
indigo, at 10s. per lb. It gave 9 per cent, of ash, and 2J per 
cent, of moisture ; and 10 grains, when dissolved in sulphuric 
acid, consumed 82 measures of the bichromate of potash so- 
lution. It is in very fine powder, with a deep coppery-blue 
colour. Assuming its quality and purity to be uniform, it 
would unquestionably be more economical, even at the high 
price of 10s. per lb., than much of the indigo at present sold. 
Its tinctorial powers could be relied on ; and, from the cir- 
cumstance of its being finely pulverized, it obviously admits 
of being rigorously tested by the bichromate process. 

The method here proposed is open, I am well aware, to 
some of the many objections that have been advanced against 
the well-known chlorine process. It is quite obvious, for in- 
stance, that unless particular care is taken in dissolving the 

Mr D. A. Wells on the Origin of Stratification. 291 

indigo in the sulphuric acid, not only is a part of it liable to 
escape solution, and proper estimation, but, in the case of 
inferior indigo, sulphurous acid may be produced, which would 
of course involve a larger consumption of the bichromate of 
potash than the indigo-blue itself would require. It may also 
be objected that bichromate of potash, in the presence of hy- 
drochloric acid, will act upon the other constituents of ordi- 
nary indigo ; but, so far as I have been able to judge from a 
very extensive course of experiments upon a great variety of 
specimens, the amount of these influences is extremely slight, 
and altogether inappreciable when the process is executed 
with proper care. The same opinion has been expressed by 
Eerzelius and Schlumberger regarding the chlorine process ; 
and it is further supported by the fact, that indigo contain- 
ing a large proportion of brown and other colouring matters, 
consumes a very small quantity only of the bichromate. While, 
therefore, this process has no pretensions to supply scientific 
men with the means of determining the actual amount of pure 
indigo-blue in samples of commercial indigo, it is, in my opi- 
nion, admirably adapted for ascertaining their relative values, 
being in many respects superior to those which have hitherto 
been proposed. 

The bichromate of potash possesses, in an eminent degree, 
all the qualities requisite for a trustworthy agent of valua- 
tion, being easy of purification, unchangeable by keeping, and 
of uniform composition. 

On the Origin of Stratification. By D. A. Wells, Esq., of 
Cambridge, United States, North America. 

The general idea respecting the origin or cause of stratifi- 
cation as expressed in geological text-books, or as inferred 
from the writings of geologists, seems to be this : that strata, 
or the so-called divisions of sedimentary matter, have been 
produced either by an interruption of deposition, or a change 
in the quality of the material deposited. This idea is well illus- 
trated by the deposition of matter by tides or inundations, its 
subsequent consolidation, and a renewed deposition on the 

285? Mr D. A. Wells on the 

plane of the former deposit. That such is really the cause of 
stratification in many cases, I do not dispute ; but that there 
are other causes which tend to produce, and have produced, 
stratification equally extensive and varied, is, I think, clearly 
shewn by the following observations : — 

My attention was first drawn to the subject during the past 
summer, while engaged in the analysis of soils. By the pro- 
cess adopted, the soil was washed upon a filter for a consi- 
derable number of days, in some cases for a period as long 
as two weeks, and subsequently dried at a temperature of 
250° F. The residue of the soil left upon the filter, consist- 
ing chiefly of silica and alumina, was found, after drying, in 
every instance, to be more or less stratified, and that too by 
divisional planes, in some cases not at all coincident with any 
division of the materials, lthough this is apt to take place. 
The strata so produced were in some instances exceedingly 
perfect and beautiful, not altogether horizontal, but slightly 
curved, and in some degree conforming to the shape of the 
funnel. The production of lamina? was also noticed, espe- 
cially by the cleavage of the strata produced, into delicate, 
thin, parallel plates, when moistened with water. These 
arrangements, it is evident, were not caused by any interrup- 
tion and renewal of the matter deposited, or by any change 
in the quality of the particles deposited, but from two other 
causes entirely distinct, and which I conceive to be these : — 
First, from a tendency in earthy matter, subjected to the 
filtering, soaking, and washing of water, for a considerable 
period, to arrange itself according to its degree of fineness, 
and thus form strata ; and secondly, from a tendency in earthy 
matter, consolidated both by water and subsequent exsicca- 
tion, to divide, independently of the fineness or quality of its 
component particles, into strata and lamina?. The tendency 
of this earthy matter is generally to divide along the lines 
formed by the arrangement of the particles according to their 
nature or quality : this is not, however, always the case, as 
was proved by the observations noted, and which is also con- 
clusively shewn by the examination of almost any stratified 

In the valley of the Connecticut, where the sandstones re- 

Origin of Stratification. 203 

main unaltered in any great degree by heat or dislocation, the 
stratification produced by the several causes may be clearly 
seen and studied. On the western edge of this deposit, we 
have rocks composed of strata, which would at once be 
referred to the action of tides or inundations by the most in- 
experienced observer. The strata here vary from one tenth of 
an inch to one inch in thickness ; they are also covered with 
mud-cracks, and the various markings which are usually found 
upon a shore or beach. In other portions of the valley, we 
have strata divisions occasioned by the lines which separate 
materials differing either in quality or nature, as in the shales 
from the sandstone, the coarse conglomerates from the fine 
sandstone, or the highly bituminous shales from those less 
bituminous. And then upon the extreme eastern edge of this 
sandstone deposit, w r e find strata, the leaves of which mea- 
sure from one to two, and in some instances, three feet in 
thickness, each embracing in itself matter ranging from a 
coarse conglomerate to the finest sand ; and yet none of these, 
within the limits of the particular strata in which they are 
included, exhibit the slightest tendency to break or divide in 
any one direction more than another. 

The observations here stated, I am happy to find, have been 
also noticed to some extent by others conversant with the 
subject of stratification. Sawdust, subjected to the filtering- 
action of water, has been observed by Professor Agassiz to 
assume a regular stratified appearance. The same has also 
been noticed by Dr Hayes of Boston, in the vats into which 
clay, used for the manufacture of alum, is washed- I have 
also noticed regular stratification in the dried deposit of a 
puddle in the streets, where no apparent change in the cha- 
racter of the materials deposited could be noticed, and when 
there was certainly no interruption of deposition. 

If the divisions of stratification which I have thus pointed 
out be admitted, it is not improbable that many cases of what 
are now considered disturbed and tilted strata are none other 
than their normal condition. 

Dr Emmons remarked that he agreed entirely with the 
views brought forward by Mr Wells, and referred to cases 
of clay beds, in which certain strata were contorted and in- 

294 Professor Horsford on the Relation of the 

clined, apparently from forces acting laterally, or from below ; 
but which forces, from the undisturbed condition of the sur- 
rounding beds, could not have acted in such a manner as to 
have produced the disturbance referred to : they must there- 
fore be accounted for by peculiarities or changes in the method 
of deposition, and by subsequent changes. 

Professor Hall stated that he had also accumulated con- 
siderable evidence in regard to this subject, and regarded it 
as highly important in a geological point of view. — (Proceed- 
ings of the American Association for the Advancement of 

Relation of the Chemical Constitution of Bodies to Light- 
By Professor E. N. Horsford, of Harvard. 

Professor Horsford called attention first to the well-known 
facts that the colour of the hair on animals varied, and was 
more intense on certain portions of the body. The metals 
also had colours which were affected by their composition. 
The change of their colour in summer and winter was also a 
well-known fact. He enumerated many metals which changed 
their tints by the simple process of heating. These were 
phenomena which ought to be investigated by means of 
chemistry. The change of tint is without change in chemical 
composition. The law appears to be that metals pass from 
a lighter to a darker tint. The loss of water causes a change 
from a lighter to a darker tint. In charring wood, we have 
a change from a lighter to a darker tint. He illustrated on 
the black board that blackness was the natural colour of all 
non-gaseous bodies ; and he cited the series of compounds of 
gold, silver, nickel, platinum, tin, and other metals. He illus- 
trated how the compounds of the several metals, as they 
became more divided in their molecular structure, varied. 
He exemplified them by the series of compounds of lead with 
oxygen, in which, as the oxygen prevailed, the colours be- 
came lighter. This was in keeping with discoveries made 
by Liebig, and other eminent chemists whom he named. 

Dr Draper had found the tints to vary in the order in which 
the metals had certain affinities, as in barium, strontium, and 

Chemical Constitution of Bodies to Light. 295 

calcium : he thought it was due to the metals which were at 
the base. 

Blackness is appropriate to extreme dissolution ; and, in 
this connection, it was worthy of remark that many nations 
had chosen that colour to express extreme grief. 

The conclusions of Prof. Horsford were, that the colour of 
bodies depends upon the extent of the surface of their smaller 
particles, or groups of atoms. Transparency depends upon 
the arrangement of lesser atoms in certain order, constitut- 
ing large groups. Whiteness depends upon such extent of 
surface of the groups of atoms as shall reflect all light, or 
upon such number of these plates produced by pulverizing 
transparent bodies as will reflect all the light. Blackness 
depends upon the subdivision of groups to such minuteness 
that they no longer reflect light, or, by producing interference, 
destroy it. Heat, by subdivision, causes darker shades. He 
also observed, in a note, that there seem to be successive 
scales of colours produced by heat. 

Professor Smith, of Louisiana, did not agree with Professor 
Horsford in some of his conclusions, and shewed that there 
were numerous exceptions in the mineral kingdom. There 
has recently been discovered the amorphous or black diamond. 
The diamond is generally supposed to be a clear, transparent 
substance ; yet here was a specimen of a black variety, which 
was proved by the investigations of Dufresnoy to contain 
98 per cent, of carbon. The colour of this variety of diamond 
proceeded entirely from molecular structure. — {Proceedings 
of the American Association for the Advancement of 

Notes on the Distribution of Animals available as Food 
in the Arctic Regions. By Augustus Pbtermann. Esq., 
F.R.G.S., &c. 

The occurrence of animals in the Arctic regions, and its 
bearing on the missing expedition under Sir John Franklin, 
is a subject which has of late excited a good deal of interest, 
and has giving rise to the most conflicting and contradictory 

296 Mr Petermann's Notes on the Distribution of 

opinions : some maintaining the existing of animals in the 
Arctic regions in great numbers, affording abundance of food 
to man ; others as stoutly insisting upon the extreme scar- 
city, if not total absence, of them. 

On entering, however, into an analysis of all that has been 
said and written on this point, it appears that a too confined 
view has been generally taken of the subject. Individual 
observations in certain localities have been separately con- 
sidered and reasoned upon for the entire region, and these 
localities only related to a comparatively small space on the 
American side, the whole Asiatic side of the Polar basin not 
being taken into account at all. Again, it has been com- 
monly assumed that with ascending latitudes temperature 
descended, and animal and vegetable life decreased, attain- 
ing their minima at the Pole. Nothing could be more falla- 
cious than such an hypothesis in a region where the tempera- 
ture corresponds less with latitude than in any other part 
of the globe. When, therefore, the shores and waters of 
Wellington Channel were found to be " teeming with animal 
life,'' it was regarded as a wonderful fact that more animals 
should be found in that region than in those to the south of 
it ; whereas this fact would seem to find an explanation 
when connected with other physical features. Indeed, the 
consideration of isolated facts alone can lead to no correct 
result ; and it is only when the various natural features are 
compared and considered in their relative bearing, that the 
laws which govern nature can be traced and discovered. It 
is in this manner only that Physical Geography becomes a 
really useful and practical science. 

In the following outline it is attempted to take a compre- 
hensive, though rapid, glance of the distribution of animals 
within the Arctic regions generally, and to inquire into the 
causes of certain apparent abnormities. 

I will, in the first place, proceed to indicate the regions to 
which these remarks refer; those, namely, which comprise 
the Arctic fauna. On this point I have adopted narrower 
limits than other authors, inasmuch as I have taken the 
northern limit of woods as the southern boundary of the 
region under consideration. It is true that some Arctic ani- 

Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions. 297 

mals, like the reindeer, are found to the south of this line — 
still these are not exclusively Arctic in their character, and 
they are also, more or less, of migratory habits. The ice-fox, a 
beautiful little animal, well known to Arctic voyagers, and 
decidedly of Arctic character, does not in general extend to 
the south of the line assumed ;* which also coincides with the 
extreme northern limit of the reptiles, and corresponds 
pretty closely with the line of 50°, mean summer temperature. 
The region thus comprises Iceland, Spitzbergen, Nova 
Zembla, the extreme northern shores of Europe and Asia, 
with the north-eastern extremity of the latter, including also 
the sea of Kamtschatka and the Aleutian Islands, but exclud- 
ing the peninsula of Kamtschatka. On the American side it 
comprises a considerable portion of British North America, 
the northern part of Labrador, and the whole of Greenland. 
Though several classes of the animal creation — as, for ex- 
ample, the reptiles — are entirely wanting in this region, 
those of the mammals, birds, and fishes, at least bear com- 
parison, both as to number and size, with those of the tropics, f 

* The only exception, I believe, where the Arctic fox ranges southward 
within the wooded district occurs in North America round Hudson Bay. This 
is owing to its habit of keeping as much as possible on the coast in migrating to 
the south ; thus, while they extend along the shore of Hudson Bay to about 50° N". 
lat., towards the centre of the continent they are very scarce, even in lat. 61°, 
and in lat. 65° they are only seen in winter, and then not in numbers. — (See 
Richardson, Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 87.) Throughout the whole of the 
Asiatic and European north the range of the ice-fox is nowhere found to be 
within the wooded region, as Baer has shewn in his masterly account of the 
distribution of this animal. — (See Bullet. Scientif. publiee par V Acad. St 
Petcrsbourg, torn. ix. p. 89.) 

t Though the number of species is decidedly inferior, the immense multi- 
tudes of individuals compensate for this deficiency. Some years ago I wrote 
with regard to this point — " If we were to conclude from a large number of 
species that there must be a large number of individuals, we should come to 
erroneous conclusions; for such is frequently not the case. The Arctic and 
tropical countries furnish an excellent example, at least in their Mammalian 
and Ornithological Faunas. We need only refer to the crowds of birds which 
hover over the islands and shores of the north, or to the inconceivable myriads 
of penguins met with by Ross on the Antarctic lands, where there was not even 
the smallest appearance of vegetation ; and, among the quadrupeds, to the 
thousands of fur animals that are annually killed in the Arctic regions. 
Wrangell gives a fine description of animal life in the Kolyma district of 
Siberia, one of the coldest regions of the globe : the poverty of vegetation is 

298 Mr Petermann's Notes on the Distribution of 

— the lion, the elephant, the hippopotamus, and others, 
being not more notable in the latter respect than the polar 
bear, the musk ox, the walrus, and, above all, the whale. 
Besides these, there are the moose, the reindeer, the wolf, 
the polar hare, the seal, and various smaller quadrupeds. 
The birds consist chiefly of an immense number of aquatic 
species. Of fishes, the salmon, salmon-trout, and herring 
are the principal, the latter especially occurring in such 
myriads as to surpass everything of the kind met with in 
tropical countries. Nearly all these animals furnish whole- 
some food for man. They are, with few exceptions, distri- 
buted over the entire region. The number in which they 
occur is very different in different parts. Thus, on the Ame- 
rican side we find the animals increase in number from E. to 
W. — on the shores of Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, Lancaster 
Sound, Regent Inlet, fewer are met with than in Boothia 
Felix and the Parry Group. The abundance of animal life 
in Melville Island and Victoria Channel is probably not sur- 
passed in any part of the American side. Proceeding west- 
ward to the Russian possessions, we find considerable num- 
bers of animals all round and within the sea of Kamtschatka, 
as also to the north of Behring Strait. The yearly produce of 
the Russian Fur Company in America is immense, and 
formerly it was much greater. Pribylow, when discovering 
the islands named after him, collected within two years 
2000 skins of sea otters, 40,000 sea bears (Ursine seals), 
6000 dark ice foxes, and 1000 pood of walrus teeth. Liitke, 
in his Voyage round the World, mentions that, in the year 

strongly contrasted with the rich abundance of animals; countless herds of 
reindeer, elks, black bears, foxes, sables, and grey squirrels, fill the upland 
forests ; stone foxes and wolves roam over the low grounds. Enormous flights 
of swans, geese, and ducks, arrive in spring, and seek deserts, where they may 
moult and build their nests in safety. Eagles, owls, and gulls pursue their 
prey along the sea-coast; ptarmigans in troops among the bushes, and little 
snipes are busy along the brooks and in the morasses. Baer also relates that a 
walrus hunter on the rocks of Nova Zembla caught in a few hours 30,000 
lemmings. On the other hand, in Australia, and other regions of the tropical 
and temperate zones, a traveller will frequently journey for weeks together, 
and pass over hundreds of miles of country, without meeting with a single 
quadruped." — See Atlas of Physical Geography, by Petermann and Milner, 
p. 130. 

Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions. 299 

1803, 800,000 skins of the Ursine seal alone were accumu- 
lated in Unalaska, one of the depots of the Russian Fur Com- 
pany ; 700,000 of these skins were thrown into the sea, 
partly because they were badly prepared, partly in order to 
keep up the prices. In the Polar Sea to the north of Behring 
Strait, as is well known, the number of whales found is pro- 
digious ; during the last three years American whalers, at 
the rate of 150 every year, having been employed in that 
small portion of the ocean. But in no other part of the 
Arctic zoological region is animal life so abundant as in the 
north-eastern portion of Siberia, especially between the 
rivers Kolyma and Lena. A description of the Kolyma dis- 
trict has already been given in the preceding remarks, to 
which the following particulars may now be added. The 
first animals that make their appearance after the dreary 
winter are large flights of swans, geese, ducks, and snipes : 
these are killed by old and young ; fish also begin to be 
taken in nets and baskets placed under the ice. In June, 
however, when the rivers open, the fish pour in in immense 
numbers. At the beginning of the present century several 
thousand geese were sometimes killed in one day at the 
mouth of the Kolyma ; about twenty years later, when Ad- 
miral Wrangell visited that place, the numbers had some- 
what decreased, and it was then called a good season when 
1000 geese, 5000 ducks, and 200 swans were killed. Rein- 
deer hunting forms the next occupation of the inhabitants. 
About the same time the shoals of herrings begin to ascend 
the rivers, and the multitudes of these fish are often such, 
that in three or four days 40,000 may be taken with a single 
net. On the banks of the river Indigirka the number of 
swans and geese resorting there in the moulting season is 
said to be much greater even than on the Kolyma. "West 
of the Lena, and along the whole of the Siberian shores as 
far as Nova Zembla, and including that island, animal life 
presents a great contrast to the preceding portion, as it is 
nowhere found in such abundance as in the districts already 

[described, and in many parts it is extremely scarce. Spitz- 
bergen, although possessing considerable numbers of animals, 


300 Mr Petcrmann's Notes on the Distribution of 

especially reindeer of the best description, is greatly inferior 
to north-eastern Siberia in that respect. 

Having now completed this circumpolar view of the dis- 
tribution of animals, its causes remain to be considered. 

The development of vegetable and animal life in the Arctic 
regions chiefly depends on the warmth of two or three, or 
even one summer month ; and it may be in general assumed 
that where the summer warmth is the highest, there plants 
and animals will be found in greater number and bulk than 
in other regions where the temperature is lower. This as- 
sumption is found to be correct as far as actual observations 
have been extended. The distribution of temperature in the 
Arctic regions and its causes I have elsewhere* discussed ; 
in this place the summer temperature only requires to be 
considered. To afford, however, the elements of a complete 
view of the distribution of temperature within the frigid zone, 
I have collected the observations made at various points, in- 
cluding some interesting stations not strictly belonging to 
the Arctic regions : these results are given in the Table (pp. 
306, 307) and enumerated with respect to latitude. 

According to Sir John Richardson, terrestrial animalsare 
abundant in the polar regions for two short summer months 
only. Birds fly to the north to perform the functions of incu- 
bation and rearing their young, which done, old and young, 
with the exception of some scattered flocks of dovekies, 
desert their breeding-places, and with the frost wing their 
way southwards. Reindeer, musk-oxen, and the beasts of 
prey which follow in their train, do not quit the continent 
to visit the Polar islands until the thaw has made some pro- 
gress in thinning the snowy covering of the pastures, and 
they return towards the woodlands again as soon as the sea 
is fast, or sooner, if the straits which separate their summer 
haunts from the main are narrow enough for them to swim 
across. The temperature of the month of July, which cor- 
responds with the summit of the summer, appears to be a 
pretty sure index of the occurrence or abundance of animals 
in those regions. The following table exhibits the places of 

* See Petcrmann's " Search for Franklin/' 1852. 

Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions. 301 

the lowest mean July temperature of the American half of 
of the Arctic regions, being all below 40° : — 

o ' o 

Winter Islands . . . (latitude 66 11) . . 35-4 

PortBowen . . . . ( " 73 14) . . 36'6 

Assistance Harbour . ( " 74 40) . . 37*8 

Igloolik .....(" 69 21) . . 39-1 

Observations made on board of vessels navigating Baffin 
Bay and Hudson Strait give the following additional re- 
results:* — 



o / 


O t 


of July. 


Baffin Bay . . 




Baffin Bay 




Baffin Bay 






Hudson Strait 




An elliptical curve drawn round the foregoing points, having 
as its axis a line extending from the entrance to Hudson 
Strait to Assistance Bay, and including Davis Strait, Baffin 
Bay, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Prince Regent Inlet, 
Boothia Gulf, Fox Channel, with the land between, com- 
prises the coldest regions on the American side. This 
region is precisely that in which the fewest numbers of ani- 
mals have been met with. Beyond it, even to the N., where 
the July temperature — as in Melville Island — has been 
found to increase, there the animals also have been found 
in greater numbers. Dr Sutherland, in his valuable work 
already quoted, gives some interesting remarks on this 
head. He says,t " That deer are more abundant on the N. 
side of Cornwallis Island, adjacent to Barrow Strait, no 
person need doubt ; for Captain Penny's and MivGoodsir's 
travelling reports contain frequent allusions to the'numbe s 

* As given by Dr Sutherland in his " Journal of a Voyage to Baffin Bay 
and Barrow Strait." See Appendix, p. clxxvi. 

t " Journal of a Voyage t3 Baffin Bay and Barrow Strait," Introduction, 
p. xxxii. 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII.— AP11IL 1853. X 

302 Mr Petermann's Notes on the Distribution of 

of these animals that were seen there; while not one, so far 
as I know, was ever seen during the whole year in any of 
the frequent excursions made from the ships in Assistance 
Bay." Again : " It will be rather peculiar if we find that 
these animals take towards the N. side of Cornwallis Island 
as the winter approaches, that they may share the modifying 
effect which the open water in Queen's Channel must have upon 
the atmosphere in its vicinity ; and it will appear at variance 
with the generally received opinion that these animals mi- 
grate southward on the approach of winter." It would have 
been interesting if a series of observations of the tempera- 
ture in the regions referred to by Dr Sutherland could^ have 
been made, so as to draw a comparison in that respect with 
Assistance Bav. 

In Wolstenholine Sound, at the head of Baffin Bay, though 
having a July temperature of 40° 5', a comparatively small 
number of animals were observed by the expedition of the 
11 North Star." This is a point, however, from which animals 
can easily migrate to the S. or N. ; and if the temperature 
be higher farther N. during the summer, as is highly pro- 
bable, they unquestionably would extend their migration in 
that direction. Dr Sutherland has an interesting remark 
bearing on the point : — 

" The Esquimaux lad whom Captain Ommanney took on 
board H.M.S. ' Assistance,' at Cape York, says that the 
Esquimaux who inhabit the coast in the vicinity of Whale 
Sound, at the top of Baffin Bay, clothe themselves with the 
skin of the musk-ox (umingmak). This statement, if 
true, would lead one to the idea that the musk-ox inhabits 
still more northern regions than Melville Island — regions 
whence they cannot return into a more southern latitude 
with the close of the season, owing to the open water in 
the top of Baffin Bay throughout the whole winter. And 
moreover, it may lead to the inference that such regions as 
can maintain the musk-ox throughout the year in so high a 
latitude as 77° and upwards, must present features with re- 
spect to temperature which are peculiar only to regions in 
the vicinity of an extensive sea. 1 ' 

On the Asiatic half of the Arctic regions the July tem- 
perature stands as follows : — 

Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions, 303 

Spitzbergen, NW. extremity . 
Nova Zembla, Karische Pforte 
Ditto, Seichte Bay .... 
Ditto, Matothkin Shar . . . 
Spitzbergen, Hecla Cove . 
Kovennoy Eilipovskoy 

Ust Yansk 

Nishne Kolymsk .... 

(latitude 80 00) 

. . 36-0 

( " 70 37) 

. 36-3 

( " 74 00) 

, . 37-7 

( M 73 00) 

. 40-0 

( « 79 55) . 

. 40-2 

( « 71 05) 

. 48-8 

( " 70 58) 

. 58-6 

( < { 68 32) . 

. 61-0 

In this region the influence of the temperature is still more 
striking, as it has been shewn that north-eastern Siberia, 
comprising the warmest stations in the foregoing list, ex- 
hibits not only the greatest amount of animal life in northern 
Siberia, but throughout the whole of the Arctic regions, al- 
though in winter it is the coldest on the face of the globe. 
It will be seen, by comparing the two tables of the July 
temperature, that Winter Island is the coldest of all stations ; 
and this is likewise the case with the mean of the three sum- 
mer months. This place is consequently the pole of cold of 
the northern hemisphere during the summer ; and Mr Ber- 
thold Seemann, the naturalist of H.M.S. Herald, informs me 
that it it is likewise the phytological North Pole, namely, 
that point which possesses the smallest number of genera 
and species of plants, and whence the number increases in 
every direction. While thus in Winter Island the most 
scanty vegetation is found, in north-eastern Siberia, in a cor- 
responding latitude, noble forests are known to thrive in 
considerable extent. It is curious to remember that already 
that distinguished navigator Frobisher, nearly three hundred 
years ago, in describing the country round the Strait named 
after him, says that under a latitude of 62° it was colder 
there than in Wardohuus in Europe, in latitude 70J°, the 
former being comprised in the district I have shewn to be 
the coldest in summer in the Arctic regions, as far as our 
present knowledge extends. It is much to be regretted that 
the efforts of the numerous Arctic expeditions in this cen- 
tury — in the hope to effect the so-called " North-western" 
passage — should have been almost exclusively directed and 
accumulated upon that region, — the most desolate, and, per- 

304 Mr PetcrmaniTs Notes on the Distribution of 

liaps, the most uninteresting, as well as the most difficult 
and dangerous portion of the Frigid Zone. 

Without going further into detail, I will merely add a few 
words as to the bearing of the foregoing observations on Sir 
John Franklin's Expedition. 

The general opinion is that the missing vessels have 
been arrested somewhere between Wellington Channel and 
Behring Strait and the Siberian shores. Most probably their 
position is nearer to the latter than to the former points. 
As these three regions abound in animal life, we may fairly 
conclude that the intervening portion partakes of the same 
character, and moreover, that the further Sir John Franklin 
may have got away from Wellington Channel, and the nearer 
he may have approached the north-eastern portion of Asia, 
the more he will have found the animals to increase in num- 
ber. The direction of the isothermal lines corroborates this 
assumption, as they are indicative of a higher summer tem- 
perature in that region than in any other within the Polar 
basin. Those countries being probably uninhabited by man, 
the animals there would have continued unthinned by the 
wholesale massacres by which myriads are destroyed for the 
sake only of their skins or teeth. 

An interesting fact was mentioned in this Society by 
Lieutenant Osborn, namely, that Captain Penny, in Septem- 
ber 1850, had seen enormous numbers of whales running 
southwards from under the ice in Wellington Channel. We 
know this to be also the case in the Spitzbergen Sea every 
spring, and that these animals are numerous along the Sibe- 
rian coasts. This not only tends to prove the existence of 
one, or perhaps two, Polar Seas, more or less open through- 
out the year, but also that these seas abound in animal life, 
as to satisfy enormous numbers of whales a large amount of 
foodis required. And it is well known among the Tchuktchi, 
on the north-eastern coasts of Siberia, — where land to the 
N. is said to exist in contiguity and probably connected with 
the lands discovered by Captain Kellett, — that herds of rein- 
deer migrate between those lands and the continents. 

Taking all these facts into consideration, the conclusion 
seems to be a reasonable one, that Franklin, ever since enter- 

Animals available as Food in the Arctic Regions. 305 

ing Wellington Channel, has found himself in that portion 
of the Arctic regions where animals probably exist in greater 
plenty than in any other. Under these circumstances alone 
his party could exist as well as other inhabitants of the Polar 
regions ; but we must not forget that, in addition to the na- 
tural resources, the} r would in their vessels possess more 
comfortable and substantial houses than any of the native in- 

So far as food is concerned, reasonable hope therefore may 
be entertained that the missing Expedition would not alto- 
gether suffer by the want of it ; — their fate, however, depends 
upon other circumstances as well, among which, that dire 
scourge of mariners, the scurvy, is probably more to be feared 
than any other. 

My authorities have been the works of the various expe- 
ditions undertaken in the Arctic regions by the English, 
Russian, Dutch, and other nations ; the zoological accounts 
of Richardson, Baer, Wrangell, and others ; also the valu- 
able papers on the distribution of mammals by Dr Wagner. 
The meteorological data are chiefly derived from Dove's 
tables, and the works of Richardson, Sutherland, Middendorf, 
and others. 


Mr Petermann's Notes on the Distribution of 










. April. 





Lat 80° to 75°. 


o r 




Spitsbergen . . . 


- 10 






Hecla Cove . . . 

7> 55 

16 49 






Greenland Sea . . 



i 22 : 52 




Wolstenholme Sounc 
Lat. 75° to 70°. 

I 76 33 

30 ' 


-25 : 07 



- 3-74 

1 25-82 





Melville Island . 

74 47 

110 48 





- 8-21 






Assistance Bay . . 

74 40 

94 16 





- 3-2 





Xovaia Zcinlia 
(Seiohte Day). 













Tort Bovren . . . 

73 14 

88 56 




- 6-50 





Xovaia Zemlia (Ma 
tothkin Sbar). 


- 57 20 


- 7-74 








North Cape, Island 

of Mage roe. 

71 10 

- 26 1 












71 5 


-4- || 





l.-tyansk . . . 

70 58 

-13S 24 



- 4*05 







Xovaia Zemlia, Ka- 
rische Pforte. 

Lat. 70° to 65°. 

70 37 

- 57 47 










Boothia Felix . . 

09 59 

92 1 
81 53 




- 2-59 

- 0-85 



39-09 • 

Nishne Kolymsk . 

09 21 



68 32 

-160 56 



- 6-70 




61-? t 


Kotzebae Sound . 




43" h 


Fort Confidence 

66 54 

118 49 





- 4-71 


Fort Hope "... 

66 32 

86 5G 




- 3-115 





Eyafiord. .... 

66 30 

20 30 









Winter Island . . 

66 11 

83 11 








2 2 













Fort Franklin . . 
Lat. 65° to 60°. 

65 12 

123 13 




- 5-38 






Archangel . . . 

64 32 

-40 33 







G0\ c 2 


Fort Enterprise 

64 28 

113 06 








G-odhaab .... 

64 10 

52 24 









New Hcrrnhut . . 

64 10 

52 40 









Reykiavig .... 

64 8 

21 55 









I ort Reliance . . 

62 46 





- 6-14 




Yakutsk .... 

62 1 

-129 44 



- 6-43 






Fort Simpson . . 

61 51 

121 51 



- 9-06 






3 J 

i elly Banks . . . 

61 30 



-21 "95 


- 0-99 



Fort Resolution 

61 10 

113 51 




li 95 




Lichtenau .... 

Lat. 00° to 55°. 

CO 35 







43 : 09 

45 : 37 


I- rii driehsthal . . 








■ 7 

bnrgb . . . 
Fori Chuj 'bill . . 

59 56 

- 80 1H 







63 : 91 

59 02 

9a io 



- 7.31 

- 4-68 







bepewyan . 

58 4 3 

W* 20 


- 8-76 

- 4-01 







58 o 

<;4 (i 

- 5-24 

- 5-31 






57 80 










n, n i 1 1 

57 10 

61 50 











57 3 

135 18 


831 (1 






a" - . 

York factory . . 


92 2(i 


- 5-12 

- 6-60 






54-8 : 

I. at. 66° to 47°. 


Oxford Bouse . . 

54 55 

96 28 



- 1-90 





i rland House 

63 57 

102 17 


- 1-1 






4 ; 

IIu uk 

58 52 

166 25 









1 House . . 
St John's . . . . 

51 21 

B3 in 


- 4*09 

- 0-68 




47 34 

52 28 


20-i s 


8340 ; 



56- 16 

I.i ndon (for com- 


51 80 





4 6-9 




Is prefixed, and West when tl ere is no 3ign. * Difference of the hottesj 

al of a voyage to Baffin Bay and Harrow Straits.'—— M., Middendorf,-Kei«r 

The lonritndei arc East when is p 
Land.*- — B. f Sutherland, • Journal or » 1 
tioofl arc from Dove (17th and 18th K.'i-orts British Association, 1847 & 48). \ By interpolation.-—* >- Tom 

Animals available as food in the Arctic Regions. 


Regions, arranged according to Latitude. 



! i 

pt. Oct. 







Ye ar. 

H. & C 



S. & W 


. O 










d. extr. 

§6 li'-32 

-18 : 60 

-27 : 05 


1 : 59 

37 : 97 

6 : 55 



63 : 50 


6 times. 


•52 i - 2-83 




- 3-19 


- 0-48 






3 j 1-5 

- 6-7 



- 4-50 







3 hourly. 


01 23-79 








28- :0 




88 ! 10-85 

- 5-00 



- 5-77 








08 22*26 


- 3-42 

- 2-29 









GO 32- 











3 19-05 




25 -18-58 

-25 : 24 


-Z-: 90 


50 26 


4 : 01 




8, 12, 4*,'l2. 

92 20-28 












|H 9-07 

- 5-41 



- 5-21 








,)9 13-72 











>7 0-30 






92 \ % 





daily extr. 


- 3 : 68 

-38 : 69 

-27 : 26 

9 : ? 


15 to 17 times. 


7 12-56 




- 4 : 73 


13 : 93 


75 : 64 


8 times. 


6 31-34 


18-32 j 



45 80 






1 13- 25 













- 8-28 













- 0-11 










6 times. 


2 35-22 











7, 2, 9. 

9 21-75 

- 1-70 



55- J 

23 50 



? 86-88 

79 ? 


5 29-84 




23 26 








3 82-90 











> 36-91 











d. extr. 






16- ? 


15 times. 

L 16-59 






12 : 76 


114 : 26 



5 times. 


) 24-28 


- 8-36 












3 times. 



12 : 04 

- 2-59 

- 8-09 


21* ? 



) 35-58 




33 : 11 















37 : 06 




49 : 17 

43 : 02 














3 times. 





- 3-34 












- 1-79 




22 52 















8, 12, 4,"s. 










44 : 24 













2 j 





- 2-53 








3 times. 





- 0-82 








- 3-70 




29 : 98 

75 : 00 




35 17 










8, 1, 9.'" 


23 33 





3 times. 



33 98 




54 : 01 



36 : 98 



daily extr. 









25 2 



red * 


)ldest months. f Difference of Summer and Winter. R., Richardson, « Boat-Voyage through Rupert's 

1 insserston Norden und Osten Sibiriens.' T., Transactions Royal Society, The vest of the Observa- 
tions to the LOtli Aug. only.— H 25—30 April, •*[ 1 26 October. 

SOS Professor Horsford on the Effect of Heat on the 

The Effect of Heat on the Perpendicularity of Bunker Hill 
Monument. By Prof. E. N. HoiiSFORD, of Harvard, North 

Soon after the pendulum was placed in Bunker Hill Monu- 
ment, it was observed that the ball when at rest was not 
always over the same point in the floor. The careful con- 
sideration of all the conditions of this fact resulted in ascrib- 
ing it to the unequal expansion of the sides of the monument, 
in consequence of unequal exposure to the sun. 

A brief description of the present condition of the monu- 
ment will aid in understanding the mode of observation 

The obelisk, thirty feet square at the base, rises, gradually 
lessening, to a pyramidal summit, two hundred and twenty- 
one feet. Within is a circular well, seven feet in diameter 
at the bottom, and five at the top, where it opens into a 
chamber or observatory. The chamber is approached by a 
winding stairway. In the centre of the roof of the chamber 
is an iron staple which was securely fixed at the time of 
placing the capstone. It served at first to support machinery 
for carrying visitors up and down. From this staple, which 
is over the centre of the open space or well, the pendulum is 
suspended by means of a screw clamp. 

From a point in the floor directly below the index attached 
to the ball, circles were described and graduated, and radii 

On the day following the graduation, the index was found 
to be on the one side of the centre of the circle. As the 
screw clamp first employed did not admit of adjustment, a 
new apparatus, with the necessary modifications, were sub- 
stituted, and the ball brought precisely over the centre of the 
graduated circle. 

A few hours later, it was found out of the centre. 

Upon observing more carefully, it was found during clear 
days that the motion of the ball in the morning was to the 
westward, at noon to the northwest, and at evening to the 
east. It was further observed that on days when the sun 
was obscured by clouds, that no motion of the ball or its in- 
dex point occurred. It was still further observed on one 

Perpendicularity of Bunker Hill Monument. 309 

occasion, during a sudden shower, accompanied with strong 
wind from the southeast, at about three o'clock in the after- 
noon, to move in the space of a very few minutes a quarter 
of an inch to the eastward. Observations at seven o'clock 
in the morning, at twelve o'clock at noon, and at seven 
o'clock in the afternoon, were recorded through several 
weeks, and no doubt remains that a cause coincident with 
the sun in its progress produced the variation of the perden- 
dicular in the monument. 

A fact already hinted at, further confirmed this conclusion. 
The extreme departure of the ball from the centre was to 
the west of northwest ; not to the north, as might at first 
glance be supposed. The explanation is found in the posi- 
tion of the monument. Its sides do not face the cardinal 
points, but are inclined about 20°. The expansion of a single 
side would produce inclination in a direction perpendicular 
to the side. The expansion of two adjacent sides would pro- 
duce inclination in the direction of the diagonal. In the 
morning the shaft is inclined to the westward. At noon it 
is inclined but a little to the north of west. In the progress 
of the afternoon, it sweeps over twice the amount of move- 
ment in the morning ; describing, in the twelve hours of ob- 
servation, an arc of an ellipse. 

During the night it sets back to the centre, and before 
seven o'clock in the morning, has already moved westward. 

The greatest diameter of the irregular ellipse, described 
by the index in twenty-four hours, is ordinarily less than 
half an inch, while the least was less than a quarter of an 

It would not be difficult to find the expansion of the granite 
to which this movement of the ball corresponds. In the 
simpler case of a rectangular shaft, the departure of the 
ball from the centre would be the versed sine of an arc (the 
side of the shaft), of which the pendulum was the sine. The 
difference between the arc and sine would be the expansion 
of the granite. 

The heat of the sun penetrates to but a moderate depth. 
This is evident from the prompt movement of the column 
when a shower falls only upon the more highly-heated sides, 

310 Perpendicularity of Bunker Hill Monument. 

and also from the ready change in inclination as the day ad- 

The effects here observed, and which are now recorded 
from day to day, taken in connection with the meteorologi- 
cal record of Boston, Charlestown, and Cambridge, cannot 
fail to be of high interest. 

The expansion of granite by heat had before been observed. 
Mr Bond, the director of the Cambridge Observatory, noticed 
its effect on his transit instrument erected in the temporary 
establishment at the corner of Quincy and Harvard streets. 
The instrument rested on two granite pillars. In the morn- 
ing of a clear day, his meridian mark on a distant hill would 
be found east of the meridian line as indicated by his instru- 
ment ; at noon, or a little past, coincident with it ; and at 
evening west of it. 

Engineers have observed it in long walls of masonry. It 
can scarely be doubted that we have memorials of it in the 
ruins of Baalbec and Paestum, of Nimrod and Stonehenge; nor 
can we question that it has played a large part in the de- 
struction of cliffs, or the splitting of mountain masses. 

The mode of observation at the monument is this : On 
either side, about three-quarters of a inch from the centre, 
under the index of the ball, two slender needles have been 
driven into the floor, leaving not more than the sixteenth of 
an inch above. These are made by pressure to pierce a card 
of thin drawing paper, which is kept from warping by slen- 
der bars of lead. When fixed the north and south and east 
and west lines are transversed in pencil mark from the floor 
to the paper. After bringing the ball to rest, in which the 
observer is aided by a contrivance enabling him to steady 
his hands, a dot is made with a pencil immediately under the 
index point, which is about the sixteenth of an inch above 
the paper. At the close of the day, the card, previously dated, 
is removed, and another takes its place for the observation 
of the next day. 

It is a grateful duty to state that the expense of the ne- 
cessary fixtures at the monument for the pendulum experi- 
ment, of which advantage has been taken in the observations 
here referred to, has been incurred bv the Massachusetts 

On the Geological Distribution of Marine Animals. 311 

Charitable Mechanics' Association. The enlightened libe- 
rality of the directors of this association is only equalled by 
the generous and efficient co-operation of the officers of the 
Bunker Hill Monument Association. — {Proceedings of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science.) 

On the Geological Distribution of Marine Animals. By 
Professor Edward Forbes. 

Professor Forbes, in his Map of the Geological Distribution 
of Marine Life, and on the Homoiozoic Belts, shews the pro- 
vinces under which animals and vegetables are assembled, 
and these provinces are delineated so as to shew their pecu- 
liarities, relations, and contrasts. The character of each is 
marked by the entire assemblage of organised beings, consti- 
tuting its population, a considerable portion in most cases 
being peculiar, and a still larger number of species having 
their areas of maximum development within it. The several 
provinces vary greatly in extent, some being very small and 
some very large. The northern and southern limits of each 
province correspond with the boundaries of a latitudinal belt, 
to which, on account of similarity of organic features, pre- 
sented through its extension, the name of Homoiozoic is pro- 
posed to be applied. Nine of these belts are distinguished, 
of which one is unique, central, and equatorial, and four in 
the northern hemisphere represent as many in the southern. 
The boundaries of the belts on land appear to correspond with 
the isotherm of^the months in which there is the greatest 
vivacity of animal and vegetable life. The Homoiozoic belts 
are not of equal breadth in all parts; the polar belts include only 
a single province in each, the other severally include many 
provinces. There are twenty-five provinces. 1. Arctic; 2. 
Boreal; 3. Celtic; 4. Lusitanian ; 5. Mediterranean ; 6. West 
African; 7. South African; 8. Indo Pacific; 9. Australian ; 10. 
Japonian ; 11. Mantchourian ; 12. Ochotyian ; 13 Sitchian ; 
14. Oregonian ; 15. Californian ; 16. Panamian; 17. Peruvian ; 
18. Araucanian ; 19. Fuegian ; 20. Antarctic ; 21. East Pata- 
gonian ; 22. Urugavian; 23. Caribbean; 24. Carolinian; 25. 

312 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

Virginian. — (For an account of Professor Forbes's regions of 
depths, vide vols. 50, 51, and 52, Edin. New Phil. Journal ) 

On the Change of Temperature in Europe, and the Variation 
of the Magnetic Needle. By Mr G. A. Ro;vell.* With 
a Map. 

From the attention now given to the effects of glaciers in 
producing geological phenomena, much interest has been 
excited as to the cause which has brought about the change 
of temperature in Europe since the glacial period. 

This change of temperature is, I believe, intimately con- 
nected with the change of declination of the needle, and in 
the theory which I first submitted to this Society in 1839, 
on the cause of terrestrial magnetism, I attributed the 
change of declination in this hemisphere to a decrease of 
temperature in the higher latitudes of America, or to an in- 
crease of temperature in those of Europe and Asia. In a 
recent communication on Scandinavia, allusion has been made 
to several geological facts, which are, I believe, connected 
with the cause of these changes. I trust, therefore, I have 
chosen a proper time to bring the subject under the consi- 
deration of this Society, as I hope to shew the causes of this 
change of temperature, and also the probability that these 
causes have been in operation to a sufficiently recent time, 
to account for the variation of the needle. 

Before I proceed further, I will describe the accompany- 
ing Map, as I shall have to refer to it often. 

The lines of equal magnetic intensity are shewn by the 
broken lines ; these are taken from Col. Sabine's maps, in 
the Sixth Report of the British Association. The point of 
greatest intensity is shewn by the spot at 52° 19' north lati- 
tude, 92° west longitude ; the intensity decreasing from this 
point as shewn by the lines 1.7 — 1.6 — 1.5 — 1.4 The 
American magnetic pole, according to Sir James Ross, is in 
north latitude 70° 51', west longitude 96° 4C. The Asiatic 
magnetic pole, according to Hansteen's observations, is in 

! before the Ashmolean Society, January .'31, 1853. 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 313 

85° north latitude, 116° east longitude. The plain lines 
shew the isothermal lines of 5°, 10°, 20°, 30°, and 40° of 
temperature ; the dotted line is the line of maximum tem- 
perature. This is not an isothermal line, as it varies from 
less than 80° to more thau 85° of mean temperature. These 
lines are all from Johnston's Physical Atlas. 

As few persons are acquainted with the theory I propose 
on the cause of terrestrial magnetism, it will be necessary to 
explain it ; but I shall do so in as brief a manner as possible. 

As the trade-winds are caused by the cold and condensed 
air from high latitudes pressing onward and raising the 
warmer and lighter air in the tropical regions, the air thus 
raised must flow back again in an upper current towards the 
colder regions, to keep an equilibrium. Thus the air is in 
constant circulation from the colder to the warmer regions 
along the earth's surface, and from the warmer to the colder 

It is well known that during evaporation electricity is 
carried off, and the water from which the vapour has arisen 
is left in a negative state ; it follows, therefore, that the 
tropical regions must always be in a negative state, owing 
to the vapour and its electricity being carried from thence 
by the rising air ; and the vapour and its electricity carried 
by the upper current to the polar regions must render those 
parts positively electrified, and it is to the rush of electricity 
from the positive to the negative parts of the earth that I 
attribute the direction of the needle. 

The cause of the magnetic poles in this hemisphere I be- 
lieve to be the vast quantities of ice blocked up both in 
winter and summer above the two continents, thus keeping 
those parts constantly colder thau any other parts in the 
same latitudes ; consequently these centres or poles of cold 
are the magnetic poles. For as the density of the air in- 
creases with the degree of cold, it follows that there must 
be more air flow from these coldest parts towards the warmer 
regions than from any other district ; consequently there 
must be a greater flow of the upper currents of air with its 
vapour and electricity, from the warmer regions to these 
coldest parts, than to any other. 

314 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

Now, if the point of greatest cold were at the terrestrial 
pole, and the temperature and evaporation increased regu- 
larly from thence to the equator, the electricity would pass 
off from the pole towards the warmer parts of the earth, 
directly in the lines of longitude, and there would be no de- 
clination of the needle except that caused by the greater 
evaporation, where the sun may be above the horizon. But 
as the poles of cold are at a distance from the terrestrial 
pole, as there is more electricity received at these parts than 
in others in the same latitudes, the electricity cannot all pass 
off in the lines of longitude, but must diverge eastward and 
westward of them, to gain its equilibrium in passing off to- 
wards the more negative parts of the earth, and thus cause 
the declination of the needle as the currents of electricity 
from the frigid to the tropical regions in every meridian 
must, in some degree, be affected by the divergences of the 
currents from the magnetic poles. As I consider the poles 
of cold and magnetic poles identical, I shall use the terms as 

The lines of equal intensity of magnetism by no means 
correspond with the parallels of latitude. If we trace the 
line 1.5, it has its highest northern limit, i. e. 73° north lati- 
tude, at about 10° east longitude. To the westward it de- 
scends through Iceland, passes west of the Azores, and 
reaches its lowest latitude, 23° north, in the Gulf of Mexico ; 
it then rises again, and about 20° west of Behring's Strait 
has its second highest latitude 53° ; it declines again to 41" 
in the meridian of the Asiatic pole, from whence it rises 
again to its highest northern limit. The course of this line 
shews the great intensity of the American pole as compared 
with the Asiatic. The declination of the needle also shews 
the different effects of the two poles, as the declination ap- 
parently caused by the Asiatic pole does not extend over 
more than about 100° of longitude ; whilst the declination of 
the needle over the remaining 260° seems to be affected in 
some measure by the American pole. This difference in the 
intensity of the influence of the poles may arise from the 
American pole being the coldest, or from the air forming 
the upper current to that pole, being more loaded with va- 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 315 

pour, and consequently electricity, than the current flowing 
to the Asiatic pole ; or it may be caused by the ice in Ame- 
rica being blocked up at much lower latitudes than in Asia, 
thus producing in a greater degree those currents of air, 
vapour, and electricity, to which I attribute magnetic phe- 

It may be observed, that the point of greatest intensity is 
between Hudson's Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and that the 
lines shew the great intensity from the American pole in the 
direction of the warm equatorial seas between Africa and 

The intensity of effect from the Asiatic pole seems to be 
influenced by like causes, as it is directed towards the Indian 
Ocean, where the line of maximum temperature has its 
greatest northern latitude, i. e., 12° 30', and where the tem- 
perature of that line is at the highest, viz. 85J° of Fahrenheit, 
and consequently where the evaporation is greatest. Thus, 
in both cases the greatest intensity is from the poles towards 
the nearest parts where the evaporation is great. 

In the meridian, where the intensity is the least, we find 
no such pole of cold, and the tropical region is occupied by 
Africa, consequently the rate of evaporation is low ; and in 
the meridian of Behring's Straits the Arctic Sea is open, 
and the line of maximum temperature is about 7° south of 
the equator, so that this line is nearly 20° farther to the 
south in that meridian than it is in the Indian Ocean, and 
the temperature lower. 

The lines of equal temperature follow the same general 
direction as the lines of magnetic intensity, shewing that they 
are both influenced by the same cause, viz. the two great 
centres or poles of cold ; and generally in the meridians 
where the temperature is highest, the intensity of magnetism 
is the least, and where the temperature is lowest the inten- 
sity is greatest. The lines of equal temperature do not 
differ so much from the parallels of latitude as the lines of 
magnetic intensity, but yet the difference is great, especially 
in high northern latitudes. 

Taking the line of mean temperature of 30° of Fahrenheit, 
it has its highest limit rather north-west of the North Cape, 

316 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

i, e. about 72" of north latitude. Passing westward it de- 
scends to the 54th degree of latitude, and shews a mean tem- 
perature of 20° lower in the eastern parts of America, when 
compared with the same latitudes in Iceland, England, and 
the north-western parts of Europe. 

This difference of temperature is generally attributed to 
the effects of the Gulf Stream ; but although there is high 
authority for this opinion, I venture to suggest that other 
causes operate in a much greater degree in producing this 
phenomenon. That the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean 
has some effect I do not deny, but the proofs of a continua- 
tion of the Gulf Stream, or of there being any stream from 
the Atlantic into the Arctic Sea, are very meagre, chiefly, I 
believe, depending on the fact, that plants from the Gulf of 
Mexico and the West Indian Islands are occasionally found 
on the shores of England, Iceland, Norway, &c. ; but when 
we consider the vast quantity of such materials brought by 
the Gulf Stream into the midst of the Atlantic, it is reason- 
able to suppose that the whole of its shores must occasionally 
have some of these things thrown on them by storms, &c. 
I am not aware that the Gulf Stream can be traced farther 
north than the 49th degree of latitude, and the fact that a 
bottle thrown into the sea by Sir W. E. Parry, in latitude 
53° 13' north, longitude 46° 55' west, was picked up on the 
shore of Tenerifle, seems to support this idea, as it must 
have crossed the direction of this supposed stream. 

It is a very general opinion that the western sides of con- 
tinents are always warmer than the eastern ; but this is not 
supported by facts, as the temperature of Africa is lowest 
on the western side, and the same is the case with the whole 
of America, from the 30th degree of north latitude to Cape 

I beg to suggest, that the principal cause of the unequal 
distribution of temperature in high northern latitudes is the 
blocking up of the ice in the seas above the Asiatic and 
American continents, thus making those parts the poles of 
cold, whilst the Arctic Sea being open from Norway to 
Greenland no such accumulation of ice can take place there, 
consequently the temperature is higher there than in any 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 317 

other parts in this hemisphere in the same parallels of lati- 

The opening into the Arctic Sea through Behring's Strait 
produces similar effects in those regions, but in a lesser de- 
gree. It is true that the isothermal lines in the North Pa- 
cific Ocean have not their highest northern limits in the 
meridian of the Strait, but to the east of it ; this fact supports 
the theory, as the high temperature of the western parts of 
North America may fairly be attributed to the great height 
of the Rocky Mountains intercepting the cold breezes from 
Hudson's Bay and the frozen seas above it. 

With respect to the changes of temperature which have 
taken place in Europe, it is evident, from glacial marks and 
deposits in Switzerland, Scotland, and in almost the whole 
of North-Western Europe, that the temperature of these 
regions has been much lower than at the present time. I 
will not attempt to give an opinion as to the depression of 
temperature which would produce such an extent of glaciers ; 
but M. Charles Martins, in an article* " on the Ancient Ex- 
tent of the Glaciers of Chamounix," calculated that a mean 
temperature similar to that of the northern part of the State 
of New York, by lowering the line of perpetual snow, and 
enlarging the area for its accumulation, would be quite suffi- 
cient to account for the extent of ancient glaciers in the 
district around Mont Blanc. On this authority, therefore, I 
conclude that the extent of ancient glaciers in Europe may 
be accounted for by a temperature such as now prevails in 
similar latitudes in the eastern parts of America. 

It has been suggested, that a change in the direction of 
the Gulf Stream may have been the cause of the change of 
temperature since the glacial period ; this cause alone seems 
insufficient to produce such effects, and the supposition of 
any change in the course of the Gulf Stream is purely hypo- 

I submit that this change of temperature may be fairly 
attributed to geological changes, of which we have evidence 
at the present time. I believe the low temperature of the 

* Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, No. 85. 

318 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

eastern parts of America, from the 40th to the 65th degree 
of latitude, is caused by the vast quantities of ice blocked up 
in Hudson's Bay, as it is a large sea open to receive the 
icebergs from more northern regions, and cut off from com- 
munication with the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean, 
the only opening into it being Hudson's Strait, from whence 
the current sets into the Atlantic. 

I will endeavour to shew that there are fair grounds for 
assuming, that very similar circumstances prevailed in Europe 
in recent geological times, and consequently it had a like 
depressed temperature. I believe it is now considered 
proved, that since the creation of races of animals at present 
existing, England and the Continent were connected by dry 
land. If, then, we consider the British Channel to have no 
existence, the German Ocean would form a sea similar in 
latitude to Hudson's Bay. We have farther the facts given 
by Sir R. Murchison, in his paper " On the Superficial De- 
tritus of Sweden," which shew, that since the southern part 
of Sweden was inhabited by man, the more northern parts 
and neighbouring districts were covered by water : that pre- 
vious to the elevation of this land, the last geological change 
was the distribution, by means of icebergs, of innumerable 
distinct angular blocks of stone over these districts. That 
these icebergs must have been immense is shewn by the size 
of some of the stones which have been so distributed, one 
measured by Sir E. Murchison was 40 feet long, 23 feet 
wide, and 25 feet high, and another was still larger. 

From the nature of these stones, it is evident that they 
have all been carried from north to south, shewing that the 
current was in that direction ; proving also that these regions 
were then open to the Frigid Ocean ; and as this current 
was from north to south, it is fair to assume that it found its 
way into the German Ocean, and thence into the Atlantic. 

If I have taken a fair view of these subjects, the condition 
of North- Western Europe at that time was very similar to 
that which now prevails in the north-eastern parts of Ame- 
rica, Great Britain representing Labrador, Norway standing 
for Cumberland Island, the German Ocean, with its connec- 
tion with the Baltic and Frigid Seas, forming another Hud- 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 319 

son's Bay, the current from the Baltic and the German Ocean 
passing into the Atlantic, between Norway and the Shetland 
Islands, taking the place of the cold stream from Hudson's 

It is to these circumstances I attribute the depression of 
temperature during the glacial period, and the subsequent 
rise of temperature to the German Ocean becoming open to 
the Atlantic, and the descent of icebergs from the Arctic 
regions into the Baltic being prevented by the elevation of 
land in the north of Europe. 

I will now endeavour to shew the probability that the 
variation in the declination of the needle has been caused by 
this change of temperature. 

All the earliest observations on the needle shew that 
Europe was at that time within the influence of the European 
or Asiatic pole, as the declination was eastward. Columbus 
is said to have been the first European who observed a 
western declination. When on his voyage of discovery to 
America in 1592, he found the eastern declination become 
less and less, — near the Azores he crossed the line of no 
declination, and then found it become westward. Now, as 
there are two magnetic poles in this hemisphere, there must 
be a line of no declination where the influences of the two 
poles are equal ; and it is obvious that it was this line of no 
declination which Columbus crossed, as the declination on 
each side diverged from it. In 1657 this line had passed 
eastward, and there was no declination in London, — at this 
time the declination was still eastward at Paris. In 1666, 
i.e. nine years later, it was at Paris, and the declination in 
London had become eastward, — since that time it has gone 
farther and farther eastward, and is now about 43° east 
longitude. Nearly all Europe has thus become under the 
influence of the American pole, and the declination in Lon- 
don has gradually changed from 11° 15' east in 1580, to 24° 
30' west, in the early part of the present century, since 
which time no change of importance has taken place. 

During the time these changes of declination occurred in 
Europe, no change of importance was observed in America? 
and there is positive proof, that in Jamaica, from 1660 to 


320 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

1806 the declination did not vary in the slightest degree, 
although in London, during those years, it amounted to full 
24°. This fact is important, as it shews that the American 
pole, during those years, has not shifted its position, and 
that the cause of the variation must be connected with the 
old continent. 

In accordance with the theory of magnetism, I have ex- 
plained, the change of declination may be fairly accounted 
for, either by the cold of the Asiatic pole decreasing in in- 
tensity, or by an elevation of temperature in Europe driving 
the centre or pole of cold farther towards the east; and there 
can be no doubt that both these circumstances followed the 
geological changes I have alluded to. 

It may be difficult to prove that a change of declination, 
which has been going on up to the present century, can be 
owing to geological phenomena, which occurred so long pre- 
vious, but I hope to shew that there are fair grounds for 
such an opinion. 

Assuming that during the glacial period the condition of 
Europe was similar to that of America at the present time, 
we may conclude that ice extended from the shores of Nor- 
way, Scotland, Iceland, &c, in a similar way to what it now 
does from Greenland, Cumberland Island, and Labrador. 
(The extent of ice from these shores is given in Johnston's 
Atlas, and is shewn in the Map). The Arctic Sea must, 
therefore, at that time, have been blocked up with ice much 
more than at present, consequently the Asiatic pole of cold 
could not then have been in its present position, but was proba- 
bly situate about Nova Zembla ; and if so, it must since that 
time have receded more than 40° of longitude towards the east. 

This change of position will account for the change of 
declination in Western Europe, as the Asiatic pole is now 
chiefly affected by the evaporation from the Indian Ocean, 
and quite removed from the influence of evaporation from 
the warmer parts of the Atlantic. It is impossible to prove 
how long was required to produce these results, after the 
geological changes to which I have alluded ; to arrive at 
a fair conclusion on the subject, it may be well to suppose 
similar changes to take place in America at this time : the 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 321 

question for consideration would then be ; — If by some geo- 
logical phenomenon the southern parts of Hudson's Bay 
became exposed to the Atlantic Ocean by an opening similar 
to the British Channel, and from the 66th to the 70th degree 
of latitude the land was upheaved so as to cut off all com- 
munication from the Arctic Seas, how long a time, under 
these circumstances, would it require for the whole of the 
north-eastern parts of America, together with the neighbour- 
ing Arctic regions, to arrive at the highest temperature 
they would ultimately acquire in consequence of these 
changes ? For as long as any elevation of temperature was 
going on, so long would the pole of cold continue to recede 
towards the west; so long, also, would the variation of the 
needle go on, and the line of no declination would move from 
its present situation, near St Petersburg, towards the west. 
England might thus again be brought under the influence of 
the Asiatic pole, and the needle throughout Europe again 
have an eastern declination. 

In considering this subject, it is necessary to bear in mind 
how slowly heat is conducted by some earths, and also the 
fact, that 140 degrees of heat are absorbed by ice in melting 
without any increase of temperature. Many proofs might 
be given of the slow transmission of heat through earth, but 
I will only refer to one, as stated by Mr Nasmyth, in the 
Journal of the Geological Society, vol. iii., p. 233. " The 
instance in question" (says that gentleman), " was that of a 
large plate-iron pot, containing 11 tons of white-hot melted 
cast-iron — a temperature so high as to be quite beyond all 
thermometric certainty, but well known to be the highest 
intensity of furnace heat, being quite equal to that of w r elding 
hot iron. 

" This vast mass of white-hot melted cast-iron, stood in 
the pot for upwards of 20 minutes, and but for a thin coating 
of clay and sand, of about half an inch thick, would have soon 
melted the bottom and sides of the pot. 

■ - This half-inch thickness of mineral substance, however, 
was quite sufficient to prevent the conduction of the heat to 
the exterior ; so completely so, that after this mass of hot 
iron had remained for upwards of 20 minutes in the pot, you 

322 Mr G. A. Rowell on the 

could place your hand on the side of the vessel without feel- 
ing any inconvenient degree of heat ; and so slowly and 
imperfectly does this thin lining of half an inch of clay and 
sand permit the heat to pass outwards, that the entire mass 
might rest there till it became cool ere the outside of the 
pot would have reached a temperature high enough to car- 
bonize wood in contact with it." 

With such facts as these, I think it fair to assume that, 
after the geological change I have supposed, thousands of 
years must pass ere the parts of America to which I have 
alluded could obtain their highest degree of temperature : 
for if half an inch of clay and sand thus intercepts the com- 
munication of so high a temperature as that of 11 tons of 
white-hot cast-iron, how can we estimate the time it would 
require for thousands of square miles of frozen land and sea 
to become elevated in temperature even a few degrees. 

Bringing these reasonings and facts to bear on the question 
of the change of temperature in Europe, I submit that there 
are fair grounds for attributing the change of declination to 
this change of temperature. For although the opening of 
the British Channel may date too far back to support this 
opinion, there are ample proofs that the connection of the 
Baltic with the Frigid Ocean, and the elevation of parts of 
Sweden, have been much more recent ; and these were the 
principal causes of the change of temperature in the north 
of Europe. 

It has been shewn by Professor Nilsson that the northern 
parts of Sweden formed the bottom of a sea after the south- 
ern part was inhabited by man. The land since then has 
been elevated some hundreds of feet, but the fact that there 
are no dislocations of strata, shews that this elevation of 
land has been gradual, and even at the present time an 
elevation is going on in various parts of Sweden. Dr 
Daubeny, in his recent communication on Scandinavia, 
alluded to this fact, and, amongst other authors on the sub- 
ject, Professor Nilsson states that the elevation of the coast 
of Sweden has been going on gradually during the last 300 
years at the rate of two feet in the century. 

In proof of the recent connection of the Baltic with the 

Variation of the Magnetic Needle. 323 

Arctic Sea, Professor Forchhammer may be cited. He says — 
" The Gulf of Bothnia has been connected with the White 
Sea, where, in the neighbourhood of Uleburg, a considerable 
depression towards its shores may be observed, a complete 
water communication existing from the White Sea through 
the Gulf of Bothnia and the northern parts of the Ost Sea to 
the Cattegat ;" and adds in a note, that between the Gulf 
of Bothnia and the White Sea, " a communication by water 
was kept up in the time of flood, even so lately as at the 
commencement of the last century.'' 1 

Some effects may be attributed to the elevation of land 
now going on, which, together with increased cultivation and 
drainage, must tend to an elevation of temperature even at 
the present time. 

In submitting these theories to the consideration of this 
Society, I am aware that I can only support them by proba- 
bilities ; but as the change of temperature in Europe, and 
the variation of the needle are subjects on which no theories 
have been adopted, I have some hope that the opinions I 
have advanced may be thought worthy of farther considera- 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. * 

The natural association of mineral species has long 
attracted attention, and although since the time of Werner 
it has been made the basis upon which distinctions between 
rocks are established, still the subject has not been investi- 
gated so fully as it would appear to deserve. Minerals 
which occur together are enumerated in the description of 
one or other of them, but no adequate account is given of 
the mode of association, and their relations of date are even 
still less regarded. 

Professor Breithaupt has for several years especially 

1 * Die Paragenesis der Mineralien. Mineralogisch, geognostisch und cheraisch 
beleuchtet mit besonderer Riicksicht auf Bergbau. Von A. Breithaupt. 
Freiberg, 1849. 

o24 The Paragenetic Relation*, of Minerals. 

directed his attention to these points, and has arrived at 
a number of very interesting results. Of these, and the infer- 
ences he draws from them, his general views, and the argu- 
ments by which he supports them, it is the purpose of the 
following pages to give some account. By the paragenesis 
of minerals he understands the more or less definite mode 
of association, by means of which he endeavours to deter- 
mine their relative age; and he has conducted his observa- 
tions from the point of view expressed in a remark of 
Dolomieus, that every stone must have some connection 
with the general history of our globe, and although individu- 
ally it may possess but little interest, still in its relations to 
others it may lead to important discoveries ; further, that it 
is the study of the most common and most universal mine- 
rals, and from which valuable results may chiefly be an- 
ticipated. He in the first place brings forward some facts 
which are sufficient to shew that the paragenetic relations 
of minerals are deserving of being studied not only by the 
mineralogist but perhaps still more so by the geologist and 
the chemist. 

In some instances the existence of a mineral species 
appears to depend upon the co or pre-existence of another 
mineral. Thus among epidotes, which are tolerably abundant, 
manganesian epidote occurs only in association with heter- 
ocline, consisting chiefly of oxide of manganese ; and among 
the titanites, which are still more frequent, greenovite 
occurs at St Marcel in Piedmont, only together with the 
above two minerals. Basaltine is the only amphibole, seme- 
line the only titanite, melanite the only garnet, and hyacinth 
the only zircon which occur in trachytic basalt or phonolite. 
Rhodizite has hitherto only been met with upon turmalin. 
There are again other minerals, whose existence may safely 
be said to depend upon the pre-existence of copper pyrites ; 
thus bismuthine, linneite and cobalt glance. Magnetic 
pyrites very generally accompanies copper pyrites, which is 
in this instance the most recent. It is perhaps still more 
remarkable, that all larger masses of variegated copper 
pyrites are accompanied by the more recently-formed cop- 
per pyrites, and the larger masses of copper pyrites by 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 325 

the still more recent iron pyrites. These facts shew that 
there are uniformities in the association of minerals worthy 
of being investigated. 

The paragenetic phenomena met with in druses, further 
indicate that the deposition of some more recent minerals 
has taken place more readily upon certain of the pre-exist- 
ing minerals than upon others, as if there had been an un- 
equal attraction. For instance, in the druses in greisen at 
the Zinnwald, the tungsten is more frequently implanted 
upon the smoke quartz than upon the mica. In the lode 
druses of the Friedrich August mine at Freiberg, the calc 
spar deposited upon surfaces consisting of iron pyrites and 
heavy spar, seems to have been attracted more by the latter 
than the former mineral. In the mine Beschert Gluck 
pyrargyrite, occurring in druses of galena and polytelite, is 
found almost only upon the latter. 

The association of minerals likewise seems to determine 
the form in which one of them appears. The galena occur- 
ring in druses near Freiberg is, when accompanied by 
diallogite, always in irregular rounded crystals, calc spar 
accompanying copper pyrites, probably always presents the 
most ordinary scalenohedron as the predominating form, and 
the calc spar upon iron pyrites is invariably in flat rhombo- 
hedric crystals. 

Another striking circumstance is, that the minerals occur- 
ring together in a particular district or formation, possess 
a certain marked physiognomy, so easily recognisable that 
the localities of hand specimens may be determined by it. 
The amphiboles, pyroxenes, epidotes, &c. of Arendal, and 
the same minerals from New York and New Jersey, the 
older galena and zinc blende formations of Freiberg and 
those of Cumberland, as well as the minerals occurring in 
the lodes of Andreasberg (Harz) are sufficient illustrations 
of these peculiarities. 

Certain associations of minerals belonging to the same 
genus, sometimes admit of the establishment of specific dif- 
ferences between them. In a trachytic rock at Laach in 
Rhenish Prussia, there occur nosean, sodalite, and leucite, 
imbedded in a porphyritic manner. These three minerals 

326 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

having been formed at the same time and under the same 
conditions, it may be inferred that they do not belong to one 
species. In the same manner antholite, anthophylite, and a 
dark green hornblende, with their characteristic peculiari- 
ties, occur in immediate contiguity at Kienrud in Norway. 

In relation to mining, Professor Breithaupt is of opinion 
that the study of the phenomena of paragenesis will be of 
great importance by leading to a knowledge of the condi- 
tions, under which the ores of the useful metals occur, so as 
eventually to do away with the element of chance, or the 
reliance upon mere empirical rules, and to substitute in 
their place a scientific system of mining operations. Al- 
though, as he admits, this result is undoubtedly very remote, 
he considers it time that the by no means inconsiderable 
number of known facts should be collected, systematised, 
and their universality tested, in order to obtain some positive 
basis for its future achievement. One of the most import- 
ant points in such an undertaking, is the progressive 
development of one inorganic mass from another — the 
accurate determination of relations of date, both as regards 
geological formations and individual minerals. He expresses 
his conviction, that as observation extends, it will become 
more obvious that the association of minerals has its defi- 
nite laws — that there exists, so to speak, a certain economy 
of inorganic nature, whose investigation will be no less 
attractive than practically useful. It will then be seen 
that the same uniformities of association present themselves 
under very different circumstances, in mixed rocks, as well 
as In isolated deposits, in vesicular cavities, as well as in 

It is here necessary to call attention to the fact, that mine- 
rals present two distinct kinds of structure — the crystalline 
and the non-crystalline. Although in many compact amor- 
phous minerals, the ultimate molecules may be crystalline 
both in structure and form, there are others whose structure 
is unquestionably of a different character, for instance, opal 
and obsidian. Again, of the non-crystalline minerals there 
are at least two classes, of which the above substances may 
be taken as the types. Obsidian bears all the characters of 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 327 

a vitreous mass resulting from igneous fusion, and there is 
other evidence which strongly favours the opinion that it 
originated in this way. The opaline structure is equally 
peculiar, and more frequent, in minerals, than the vitreous. 
It would appear that those bodies which have an opaline 
structure, frequently present indications of having been 
originally in a plastic state ; indeed, opal itself has actually 
been found so. 

"Without taking into account those minerals which may 
have been formed from solutions, there is an abundance of 
facts which fairly admit of the inference that the substance 
of a very great number of minerals possessed at some period 
of their existence a certain degree of internal mobility, being 
either liquid, viscous, or plastic, although opinions differ as 
to the precise nature of this former state.* 

Fuchs is of opinion, that entire masses of rock have been 
in this state, and that the metamorphism of rocks is essen- 
tially connected with such a softening. The curvature in 
the axes of crystals, the partial fracture, contortion and 
separation of crystalline minerals as it were into slices, as in 
the garnets, in some schistose rocks, are favourable to this 
view. Some quartzose rocks consist of angular fragments 
cemented together by amorphous quartz, and it is not im- 
probable that the fragments have been formed by the con- 
traction of gelatinous or plastic silica, and that the cement 
has been subsequently introduced in a plastic state. 

Moreover, crystalline substances may, without losing their 
solidity, experience an alteration of structure, as in the con- 
version of arragonite into calcite, and there is in many in- 
stances a remarkable fact of paragenesis connected with the 
calcite, which has originated in this way. Crystals of celes- 
iine are found upon it, which would appear to indicate that 
sulphuric acid has had some share in the change. Stro- 
meyer's investigations have shewn, that arragonite generally 
contains strontia ; and as celestine is always accompanied by 

* In a physical point of view, it is probable that the molecular structure of 
bodies depends mainly upon the conditions under which solidification takes 
place, and any inferences which may be drawn from the structure of minerals, 
would appear to refer rather to those conditions than to the former state of the 
masses from which they were formed. 

328 The Para genetic Relations of Minerals. 

calcite or limestone, and is always of more recent formation 
than these, it has possibly originated in all cases from stron- 
tiferous arragonite. The sulphuric acid may have been 
derived from the decomposition of iron pyrites. 

The association of minerals does not always indicate their 
simultaneous formation. The granular rocks appear to 
afford the best evidence of this ; for while, in some cases, 
minerals implanted upon each other differ very little in date, 
in others a very long interval may have elapsed between 
their respective formations. The simultaneous formation of 
different mineral species is indicated by their regular twin 
growth, by juxtaposition, as in disthene and staurolite from 
St Gothard ; dolomite, ripidolite, and a green amphibole, 
(Pfitschthal, Tyrol) perhaps also in graphic granite, although 
in the druses, of the three constituents pegmatolite appears 
to be oldest, mica most recent, and quartz intermediate. 
When minerals present mutual impressions, such as Fournet 
has observed in the garnet and mica near Lyons, this circum- 
stance is evidence of their simultaneous formation. In most 
cases, the date of minerals which present a twin-growth by 
superposition, is not precisely the same ; thus the hexago- 
nites haplotypicus is rather older than the rutile with which 
it is compounded (Tavetschthal, Switzerland). The same is 
the case with the regular twin-crystals of iron pyrites, and 
spear pyrites (Litmitz, Bohemia) ; the twin crystals of chlorite 
upon and with magnetite (Fahlun, Sweden). It ought like- 
wise to be considered as a universal rule of superposition, at 
least with regard to varieties of the same species, that the 
non-crystalline, or least crystalline variety is followed by the 
crystalline ; instances of this are furnished by compact and 
fibrous brown iron ore ; hornstone and quartz crystals ; 
allochroite and garnets. 

Among the more uniform mixed rocks a certain geognostic 
relation is presented by the minerals constituting those which 
possess agranular, schistose, or porphyritic structure. With 
regard to the phenomena of paragcnesis, these rocks may 
be divided into two classes : — 

I. Those consisting of silicates, one of which is almost 
always a felsite, rarely replaced by nepheline. 

The Paragenetie Relations of Minerals. 329 

II. Those consisting of silicates with quartz. 

This distinction is of great importance in the study of 
eruptive rocks, and in relation to the association of some 
minerals quite essential, indicating likewise the presence or 
absence of others. The most frequent of such silicates be- 
long to the genera felsite, pyroxene, amphibole, phengite, 
astrite, &c. The felsites are especially important both on 
account of their greater frequency, and because they include 
trisilicates as well as bisilicates almost entirely destitute of 
metallic oxides and magnesia, but rich in alumina and 
alkalies. Together with these there occur in the first class 
of rocks pyroxenes and amphiboles containing much iron, 
though scarcely any alumina or alkalies. 

It must not be forgotten that some pyroxenes and amphi- 
boles are similar in composition, and in such cases may be 
regarded as dimorphous bodies. Indeed, bronzite and antho- 
phyllite are identical in composition, corresponding with the 
formula Fe O Si 3 + 3 Mg 0, 2 Si 3 . It is therefore possible 
that certain eruptive masses may have yielded either diabase 
or diorite, according to the prevailing conditions. Mitscher- 
lich has actually obtained crystals of pyroxene by fusing am- 
phibole; and G. Rose has shewn that crystals occur, consisting 
of a nucleus of pyroxene and an envelope of amphibole. In 
connection with this point, it is worthy of remark that some 
species of pyroxene occur only in rocks of volcanic, or un- 
doubtedly igneous origin, such as basalt, lava, &c, while 
others do not occur ; and in the former case, the pyroxenes 
are accompanied by astrites, but never by phengites. In such 
rocks, pyroxene and amphibole are indeed sometimes met 
with together, but the occurrence of amphibole is then limited 
to one species — basaltic amphibole, — which is essentially 

In the rocks consisting of silicates with quartz, for the 
most part the oldest known rocks, associations of such mine- 
rals are observed, as, in the present state of science, can 
scarcely be regarded as of simultaneous formation. When- 
ever quartz is present as an essential constituent, pyroxenes 
are not found, with the single exception of spodumene, which 
although mineralogically belonging to this genus, differs 

330 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

widely in chemical composition from all the other members, 
inasmuch as alumina is an essential constituent. 

It is in the study of these more ancient rocks, as in that of 
the early history of Man, that the greatest mystery, the great- 
est difficulties are encountered, and the progress of observation 
would appear to prove not only that the conditions under 
which they were formed were widely different from those 
which now prevail, but also that these rocks have experienced 
many successive alterations. 

With regard to porphyritic rocks, Werner entertained the 
opinion that the imbedded crystals were of earlier formation 
than the matrix ; however the contrary appears, with very 
trifling exceptions, more probable, and for the following rea- 
sons : — 

1. The occurrence of crystals which contain nuclei of the 
mass in which they are imbedded. — This is the case with the 
large rhombohedrons of magnesite occurring in the talcose 
slate of the Tyrol. Crystals of leucite, from the old Vesu- 
vian lavas, not unfrequently contain the same lava in their 
interior. The twin-crystals of pegmatolite from Elbogen, 
Bohemia, contain not only scales of phengite and granules of 
quartz, but nuclei of granite, presenting exactly the same 
appearance as the surrounding rock. Very finely developed 
crystals of iron pyrites from Osterode, Harz, with smooth sur- 
faces, contain nuclei of the gypsum in which they lie, and large 
groups of iron pyrites crystals frequently contain in their centre 
some of the clay by which they are surrounded. In the horn- 
stones of Schneeberg (Saxony) hexahedrons of tin white cobalt 
or smaltine occur with nuclei of the same hornstone. Some 
pseudomorphous minerals constitute an exception to this gene- 
ral rule ; thus when an envelope of red haematite has been 
formed over calcite, assuming its scalenohedron form, and the 
latter mineral has been subsequently removed, and red hsema- 
tite deposited in its place. But in this instance the pseudo- 
morph was at a certain period hollow. Again, at Bothen- 
berg (Saxony), the fluorspar formerly existing, and of which 
not a trace is now found, was first covered with fibrous red 
haematite, and then by some means removed, leaving a hol- 
low cast, which was afterwards filled with quartz. Some 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 331 

times it is difficult, without collateral evidence, to tell which 
part of a pseudomorphous mineral was formed first, as in 
the case of rhombohedrons of compact brown iron ore, result- 
ing from the alteration of spathic iron, and covered with a 
thick crust of malachite. The latter, however, being a deriva- 
tive of copper pyrites must be more recent than the brown iron 
ore, because in the same lode copper pyrites is found im- 
planted upon spathic iron. 

2. The occurrence in sedimentary strata of crystals, pre- 
senting such sharpness in their edges that they have ob- 
viously not been deposited as detritus, but formed upon the 
spot. — Near Meissen, sharply-defined crystals of iron pyrites 
occur in clay, together with water-worn fragments of quartz, 
and generally contain a nucleus of carbon. It is probable 
that they have been produced from ferrugineous solutions by 
the reducing agency of carbonaceous matter. 

Where large groups or masses of iron pyrites occur im- 
bedded in stratified rocks, a curvature of the lines of strati- 
fication may frequently be observed immediately around them, 
to all appearance resulting from the formation of the pyrites 
on the spot. In the brown coal-formation, iron pyrites occurs 
chiefly where the coal-seams are in contact with large masses 
of clay. As might be expected, a carbonaceous nucleus can- 
not always be found in iron pyrites, but a nucleus of hepatic 
pyrites is frequent, and this contains sulphuret of carbon. 
Again, other than carbonaceous nuclei occur in iron pyrites. 
In the alluvium at Meronitz (Bohemia), the iron pyrites con- 
tains nuclei of pyrope, and in perfectly developed dodecahe- 
drons of pyrites, nuclei of transparent quartz have been 

This porphyritic formation of iron pyrites sufficiently proves 
the segregation of particular substances in rocks. It is not 
confined merely to deposits of clay, but may be observed even 
in the oldest schistose rocks. In some varieties of clay slate, 
the imbedded crystals of iron pyrites are covered, especially 
on one side, by a layer of fibrous quartz, which must have 
been deposited after the formation of the pyrites ; and this 
fact furnishes additional evidence that these two minerals 
have an attraction for each other. The Devonian slates of 

332 The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

the Eifel present abundant examples of this mode of occur- 
rence, and the curvature in the surrounding layers of rock 
may be easily recognised. Sometimes the pyrites has been 
completely removed, its former existence being indicated only 
by hexahedral cavities, and then the fibrous character of the 
quartz is more prominent. It is probable that iron pyrites 
is very extensively disseminated throughout some schistose 
rocks, for the stagnant water in slate quarries frequently 
contains sulphate of iron. 

If. then, it is satisfactorily proved that the porphyritic 
formation of iron pyrites has taken place subsequently to the 
formation of the strata in which it occurs, there appears to 
be no reason why we should not consider other crystalline 
minerals present in the same rocks, and sometimes in imme- 
diate proximity to the pyrites, to have been formed in a simi- 
lar manner. In some of the most ancient slates octohedrons 
of magnetic iron occur together with the pyrites, and even 
the granular rocks of eruptive and plutonic origin present 
analogous facts. In the granite of Saubersdorf (Voigtland) 
the iron pyrites is partially decomposed, and converted into 
crystallised specular iron, the granite itself being somewhat 
disintegrated. In the syenite of Zschitschewig, titanite is 
imbedded together with pyrites. It is, however, inconsistent 
with chemical principles to suppose that bisulphuret of iron 
existed in a melted eruptive mass ; in melting processes only 
mono- and sub-sulphurets are formed, and this renders it still 
more probable that the pyrites is of more recent formation 
than its matrix, likewise proving either that these rocks 
were not formed at any very high temperature, or had cooled 
considerably when the formation of pyrites took place. 

Bunsen's obsJtrations in Iceland would appear to prove 
that the formation of iron pyrites in clay may sometimes be 
owing to other causes than those above mentioned. The prin- 
cipal gases associated with the exhalations of vapour in that 
island, are sulphuretted hydrogen and sulphurous acid, their 
mutual decomposition giving rise to the sublimation of im- 
mense masses of sulphur. When the sulphuretted hydrogen 
is in excess, the oxide of iron is converted, under the in- 

The Paragenetie Relations of Minerals. 333 

fluence of alkaline sulphurets, into pyrites which remains 
imbedded in the clay. 

As the principal object in the present instance is to prove 
that the formation of imbedded minerals is subsequent to 
that of their matrices, attention has been especially directed 
to one mineral alone. There are, however, two others of 
especial importance which occur in the same manner — 
gypsum and quartz — the former occurs in sharply-defined 
crystals in alluvial clays, shale, and even in the schistose and 
stratified clay iron ore of Yorkshire, &c. The absence of all 
traces of friction upon these very soft crystals does not, for a 
moment, admit of the supposition that they were deposited in a 
detrital manner, or with the matter of the sedimentary strata. 
It is indeed probable that, in some cases, their formation may 
have been owing to the presence of iron pyrites, and have 
taken place in the manner pointed out by Hausmann* 

Quartz being the mineral which principally gives the pecu- 
liarity of structure to the oldest and most frequent porphy- 
ritic rock, some mention of its mode of occurrence in more 
recent rocks may not be without interest. At Posneck 
(Thuringia), millions of very small and extremely sharp- 
edged diploheders of quartz occur in a marl belonging to a 
more recent period than the zechstein group. In a marly and 
compact limestone at Pforzheim, in Baden, larger crystals 
are found, which singularly enough contain some sulphur. 
Quartz crystals likewise occur in the gypsum of Grafintonna 
(Thuringia), and of St Jago di Compostella (Spain). Even 
some of the particles of sandstones are not invariably water- 
worn fragments, but sometimes actual crystals, as in the 
quader- sandstone of the Tharander Wald (Saxony). 

Another singular fact is the occurrence of small druses of 
felsite in the clay-stone of Floha (Saxony), together with the 
same mineral imbedded in a porphyritic manner. This 
would appear to admit of the inference, that imbedded felsite 
is, at least in some instances, more recent than its matrix. 

3. It often happens that one mineral imbedded in another, 

* Bemerkungen iiber anhydrite und Karstenit, 1847, p. 25. 

334 The Paragenetie Relations of Minerals. 

which serves as a matrix, occurs implanted upon it in 

In the Zillerthal (Tyrol), pistacite occurs imbedded in 
mica (astrite) slate, and in the same locality fine specimens 
of green epidote are found upon ripidolite. Chondrodite oc- 
curs in many places in saccharoid limestone and calcite ; but 
in the druses in the masses ejected from Vesuvius, it is im- 
planted upon calcite. Zeilanite likewise occurs imbedded in 
calcite, and in the above druses upon it. Yellow titanite oc- 
curs imbedded in chlorite at the Zillerthal (Tyrol), and at 
St Gothard, implanted upon it. Brown titanite occurs im- 
bedded in hornblende slate at the Stubeithal (Tyrol), and in 
the well-known druses of common hornblende from Arendal 
(Norway), it is implanted upon this mineral. 

The porphyritic occurrence of iron pyrites in copper 
pyrites is remarkably frequent, especially when the latter is in 
large masses. Sometimes the iron pyrites is quite porous, and 
only partially occupies the cavity in the copper pyrites. When 
these minerals are associated in druses, the copper pyrites 
always appears as the oldest of the two, Pseudomorphous 
iron pyrites, after copper pyrites, presents an apparent ex- 
ception to this rule, but it must be remembered that pseudo- 
morphs are in some sort abnormal products. There are, 
however, some real exceptions, though few in number. 

Copper glance is in many instances followed by erubescite 
and iron pyrites, a fact which perhaps admits of explanation 
upon chemical' principles. If, for example, a solution eon- 
aining oxide of copper and peroxide of iron, is acted upon 
by sulphuretted hydrogen, sulphuret of copper is first formed, 
while the peroxide of iron must be reduced to protoxide be- 
fore a bisulphuret can be formed ; and during this time it is 
readily conceivable that compounds of the sulphurets of iron 
and copper may be formed. 

The most direct illustrations of this third proposition are 
furnished by those instances in which minerals occur im- 
bedded in a rock, and at the same time implanted upon it in 
veins, sometimes even filling the fissures. 

Thin plates and lamina? of talc occur imbedded separately 
in the chlorite slate of the Zillerthal (Tyrol) ; and this talc 

Tlie Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 335 

is found filling veins in the same rock. Astrite occurs both 
in and upon the finely granular calcite of the masses ejected 
from Vesuvius. The porphyry of Scharfefstein (Saxony) 
contains imbedded pistacite, and is likewise traversed by 
veins of the same mineral. It is also remarkable that the 
imbedded crystals are deposited around small nuclei of iron 
pyrites, and where epidote and iron pyrites are associated 
in druses, as at Arendal, the latter is always underneath. 
According to Haidinger, epidotes occurs in other places, as 
relatively very recent products. G. Rose states that the 
chlorospinel of Slatoust is both imbedded and in veins in the 
talcose slate. At Achmatowsk (Siberia), crystals of the same 
red garnet are imbedded in and implanted upon ripidolite. 
In the serpentine of Dobschau (Hungary), a garnet of bright 
green colour is both imbedded and implanted upon the walls 
of the fissures. Tourmaline crystals occur imbedded in tal- 
cose and mica slate ; and where there are veins in these 
rocks, the tourmaline forms druses upon them. Crystals of 
cassiterite are imbedded in the felsite of the tin lodes at 
Marienberg (Saxony), and occur upon crystals of the same 
felsite. An arsenical pyrites, containing 08 to 0-9 per cent, 
of nickel,* occurs in chlorite slate near Sparnberg, in the 
same manner as the above-mentioned talc. Imbedded crystals 
of metallic copper occur in compact brown iron ore (Siberia) 
and plates of copper in the fissures. 

Similar phenomena present themselves in essentially mixed 
rocks, — thus nepheline and apatite occur together imbedded 
in the granite of Miask (Siberia), in the syenite of Fredrik- 
swarn (Norway), and in the veins of graystone at Capo di 
Bovo, likewise in the small druses of the nepheline rock at 
Meigen (Darmstadt), in Saxony, and in the volcanic felsite 
rock of the lake of Laach. 

Cassiterite, beryl, columbite, and the several species of 
tantalites occur imbedded in granite, while in the druses and 
veins they are implanted upon the constituents of this rock. 
Beryl is found without columbite and tantalite, and these are 

*Breithaupt has found nickel in most arsenical pyrites, which are associated 
with chlorite minerals. 

z 2 

336 Tlie Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 

more recent than it ; but, as Nbrdenskjold first pointed 
out, they never occur without beryl. It cannot therefore be 
doubted that their presence depends upon the pre-existence 
of beryl. 

Iron pyrites, arsenical pyrites, galena, and zinc blende — 
the most frequent minerals in the Freiberg lodes, impregnate 
the adjoining gneiss to a distance of several fathoms. Al- 
though the walls of the lode fissures presented an abundant 
surface for their deposition, a considerable transfer of these 
substances from the lodes into the adjoining rock is some- 
times unquestionable, and in this case the rock is generally 
disintegrated. Frequently the mispikel occurs imbedded in 
the gneiss, at a distance of 15 to 20 feet from the lode, in 
such quantity as to be advantageously worked. The gneiss 
is then converted into talc, or a very analogous substance. 

The occurrence of calcite, both imbedded and in small 
veins, in the zechstein of Saalfeld, is a phenomenon which 
should probably be included among the above. 

It may not be inappropriate here to make some mention of 
the artificial crystals obtained in smelting processes. The 
beautiful homogeneous and vitreous slags, from Hockeroda 
and Luisenthal, contain tabular, tetragonal-prismatic crys- 
tals, of a substance closely resembling idocrase, both imbed- 
ded and forming druses, in the larger vesicular cavities. 
Hexagonal-prismatic crystals, resembling nepheline, occur in 
the same manner in the slag from the Rothenthal at Osterode 

4. Some imbedded minerals are undoubtedly products of 
the decomposition of the mass in which they are inclosed, 
and are therefore more recent than it. 

In the brown coal of Artern (Thuringia), mellite and sul- 
phur occur in separate crystals and groups. At Luschetz 
(Bohemia), mellite and oxalite occur in a similar manner. 
Bischof considers that the carbonaceous matter of the coal 
lias reduced sulphate of lime, and that subsequent contact 
of the sulphuret with sulphuric acid, resulting from the oxi- 
dation of pyrites has reproduced gypsum, with evolution of 
sulphuretted hydrogen, which, with oxygen, yielded water 
and sulphur. However, the sulphur in the brown coal of 

The Pamgenetie Relations of Minerals. 337 

Langenbogen (Prussia) is very probably a product of sublima- 
tion. The spherical masses of hydrated pyrites, covered 
with an envelope of gypsum, the crystal points of which are 
turned inwards, have decomposed with considerable evolution 
of heat. The sulphate of iron has been washed away, and 
the masses are now hollow, with the surplus sulphur, result- 
ing from the decomposition, upon the points of the gypsum 
crystals. The heating of the pyrites has in this case been so 
great, that the coal immediately surrounding the gypsum has 
been converted into a species of anthracite. 

It is not improbable that analogous changes may have 
taken place in other rocks possessing a porphyritic structure, 
but the difficulty here is, that we do not know what was the 
condition of the matrix previous to the formation of the im- 
bedded crystals. Graphite occurs imbedded in the sandstone 
of Charlottenbrunn (Siberia), and it is very probably a product 
of the alteration of organic remains at some period after the 
formation of the rock. When it is remembered that some of 
the mixed rocks must be regarded as really metamorphie, 
the fourth proposition will appear applicable to a much greater 
number of facts, although it may not always be possible to 
furnish positive explanations of them. 

5. Certain minerals occur imbedded in the older rocks, 
only where they are in contact with more recent eruptive 

Several geologists state that the occurrence of the very 
frequently associated minerals, kyanite and staurolite, is 
limited, in the older schistose rocks, to those spots where 
they are in contact with granite, or some analogous rock. 
Here, then, the porphyritic separation of crystals is obviously 
owing to the influence of the more recent upon the older rock. 
It cannot be doubted that an essential part of the change 
consisted in a chemical readjustment of the atoms. Anda- 
lusite, which, according to Bunsen, is specifically identical 
with chiastolite, likewise occurs in mica and clay slates, under 
precisely similar circumstances. It has been found very fine 
in the clay slate of the Whealkind mine, at the surface of 
contact with granite, the clay slate at the same time being 
remarkably hard. The same phenomenon presents itself 

338 Tlie Paragenctic Relations of Minerals. 

near the mica slate and gneiss at Munzig (Saxony), and chias- 
tolite occurs in the clay-slate at Gefrees (Bavaria), close to 

At Trcuen (Saxony), the so-called " Fruchtschiefer" occurs, 
surrounding a spheroidal mass of granite, and a perfectly 
similar-shaped black amphibole, with garnets, occurs at 
Airolo (Switzerland), so that it may be inferred that the in- 
distinct and decomposed crystals in the " Fruchtschiefer" 
were formerly amphibole. The same kind of slate occurs at 
Schneeberg, near the granite ; and in the mines at that place 
it has been found that the clay-slate is harder and more sili- 
ceous near the granite, this contact phenomenon even extend- 
ing into the slate to a distance of 800 feet from the granite. 
This fact is alone sufficient to shew to what a distance the 
atoms of relatively recent rock may be transferred into an 
older one w r ith which it comes in contact. The horn-slate, 
which forms a kind of mantle round the granite of the 
Brocken, affords almost precisely the same evidence. These 
altered, and in part essentially hardened slates, do not always 
present evident porphyritic inclosures, but they probably exist 
as microscopic particles, or the slate has been otherwise che- 
mically altered. 

It is probable that the alterations which rocks have suf- 
fered under the influence of more recently-formed rocks rarely 
consisted in merely mechanical modifications of the molecu- 
lar aggregation ; they appear rather to have been far more 
deeply seated, to have been more or less chemical. In this 
point of view, the theory put forward by Von Buch, that, 
under certain circumstances, dolomite may have originated 
from limestone by the action of melaphyr, comes within the 
bounds of possibility, and, under one condition, acquires much 

The mica-slate of Scharfenstein (Erzgebirge) is remark- 
ably altered in contact with the porphyry which traverses it, 
being converted into gneiss for short distances. In this in- 
stance felsite has been transferred from the porphyry into the 
mica-slate, which might, indeed, be termed porphyritic, were 
it not customary to call a schistose mixture of felsite, quartz, 
and mica, gneiss. 

The Paragenetic Relations of Minerals. 339 

The above mentioned transfer of mispikel, from a lode 
into gneiss, is an analogous fact, the more recent lode mass 
having acted upon a pre-existing rock, in the same way as a 
more recent rock mass. A number of other instances might 
be brought forward, but as there are no facts at variance 
with this proposition, it is unnecessary. 

6. When the crystalline variety of a mineral is associated 
with the compact variety, the former is always the most re- 

Many porphyries consist of a mixture of compact felsite, 
with imbedded crystals of cleavable felsite. There is, there- 
fore, no reason to deny that the latter are of more recent 
formation than their matrix. In granular or slaty mixed 
rocks large crystals, of some one or more constituents, are 
sometimes imbedded, communicating to the rock a porphy- 
ritic character ; and there can be little doubt that such 
crystals are of more recent date, for not only do they contain 
nuclei of the rock in which they lie, but in the slaty rocks, 
the curvature of the layers surrounding the crystals is likewise 
to be observed, as in the gneiss of Schwartzenberg (Saxony). 
Many minerals occur imbedded in the form, not of crystals 
but of nodules. In. other respects they correspond precisely 
with the inclosures in porphyritic rocks, and there is no doubt 
that they have often originated in a similar manner. This is 
very evident in the case of iron pyrites, which frequently 
occurs, both in nodules and crystals, in the same bed of clay. 
Nodular iron pyrites occurs in all rocks up to the clay-slate. 
It is probable that many other nodular minerals must be re- 
garded as of later formation than the masses in which they 
lie, although water- worn fragments are also imbedded in this 
shape. Again, agate occurs in the form of nodules, although 
it has been formed in a very different manner. Consequently 
very great caution must be exercised in forming any inferences 
with regard to the origin of imbedded nodules. Nodular mi- 
nerals are sometimes associated with imbedded crystals, and 
this is then additional evidence in favour of their analogous 
origin, thus sphaerulite occurs in pitchstone, pearlstone, and 
obsidian, together with crystals of astrite and felsite. The 
nodules of azurite, in the marl and sandstone of Miedezana 

340 The Pamgenetic Relations of Minerals. 

Gora (Poland), are remarkable, inasmuch as they are hollow, 
and lined with crystals, like amethyst balls. There can be 
no doubt that the formation of these crystals was attended by 
a contraction of volume, and commenced from the periphery 
of the nodules. 

Nodular masses of. limestone are very common in transition 
rocks, especially slate ; at Obernitz (Thuringia), they are so 
numerous as apparently to form beds. Marl strata some- 
times contain nodules of very hard limestone or dolomite, 
traversed by veins of calcite, perhaps accompanied by celes- 
tine. Argillaceous spharosiderite would appear to have been 
formed by a segregation of carbonate of iron, after the for- 
mation of sedimentary rocks. Freiesleben states likewise, 
that the crystalline spathic iron of the Mansfeld district has 
in some places an oolitic structure. It must, however, be ex- 
pressly stated, that both limestone and spharosiderite, when 
exposed to the atmospheric influence, assume a nodular struc- 
ture, and this remark applies also to some sandstones, grau- 
wackes, &c, 

Heavy spar occurs in nodules in clay ; yellow iron ore in 
the brown coal formation of Bohemia. At Miask (Siberia), 
the variety of chrysophan, called xanthophillite, occurs in 
nodules, generally surrounded by magnetic iron ; the crystals 
point towards the interior, which is either hollow, or filled 
with a light green mineral resembling serpentine. Nodules of 
green epidote occur in a gray compact limestone, in the Banat. 
Quartz occurs in nodular masses, more rarely crystalline than 
uncrystalline. Crystalline nodules of quartz, which cannot 
be regarded as detrital, occur in the mica-slate of the Erzge- 
birge. The Jura limestone at Eichstadt (Bavaria) contains 
balls of hornstone, sometimes of considerable size, presenting 
in their interior concentric-coloured streaks, and even con- 
centric layers and fissures, the latter containing crystallised 
quartz. It is further interesting to observe, that the greater 
number of fossils in the chalk consist of flint, and that the 
larger nodules of this substance are particularly rich in ani- 
mal remains. It is probable that the formerly existing 
organic matter had some share in determining the segrega- 
tion of the silica, as it appears collected round the fossils. 

Remarks on the Planets Jupiter and Saturn. 341 

Olivine is much more frequently imbedded in basalt in 
nodules than in separate crystals. These masses consist of 
crystalline granular fragments, sometimes mixed with augite 
and bronzite. As in basaltic tuffs, similar nodules of olivine 
are found, which, on account of their less coherent granular 
structure, may be easily broken down, there is the greater 
reason to regard them as subsequent productions, because 
no small particles or angular fragments are found near the 
large nodules. 

At Charkow, Swoszowice, and other parts of Poland, amor- 
phous sulphur occurs in nodules in marl ; and where the marl 
has been converted into compact limestone, it presents vesi- 
cular cavities, containing crystallised sulphur and calcite. 

In the case of all these nodular formations, it may be 
assumed that there has been a segregation of the particles of 
the minerals, for it would be difficult to suppose that they 
were accidentally deposited in the manner they now occur ; 
and moreover, many such nodules contain small nuclei of 
the substance in which they are imbedded. 

(To be continued.) 

Some remarks on the probable present condition of the Pla- 
nets Jupiter and Saturn; in reference to Temperature, 8fc. 
By James Nasmyth, Esq.* 

The remarkable appearances which characterise the aspect 
of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, as revealed by the aid of 
very powerful and excellent telescopes, have induced some 
reflections on the subject of their probable present condition 
as to temperature. With a view to excite more special and 
careful observation of the phenomenon in question, and pro- 
mote discussion on this interesting subject, I have been 
tempted to hazard the following remarks, which may per- 
haps prove acceptable to some of the members of the Royal 
Astronomical Society. 

In a former communication, in reference to the structure 

* Read at the Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society. 

342 Remarks on the Planets Jupiter and Saturn. 

and condition of the lunar surface, I made some remarks on 
the principle, which, as it appears to me, gives the law to 
the comparative rate of cooling of the planets, namely, that 
while the heat-retaining quality was due to the mass of the 
planet, the heat-dispensing property was governed by its 
surface ; and as the former increases as the cube of the dia- 
meter of the planet, while the latter increases only as the 
square of its diameter, we thus find that the length of time 
which would be required by such enormous planets as Jupiter 
and Saturn to cool down from the original molten and in- 
candescent condition to such a temperature as would be fitted 
to permit their oceanic matter to permanently descend and 
rest upon their surface, would be vastly longer than in the 
case of such a comparatively small planet as the earth. 

Adopting the results which geological research has so 
clearly established as respects the original molten condition 
of the earth, as our guide to a knowledge of the condition 
of all the other planets, it appears to me that we may in this 
way be led to some very remarkable and interesting conclu- 
sions in reference to the probable present condition of such 
enormous planets as Jupiter and Saturn, tending to explain 
certain phenomena in respect to their aspect. 

Assuming as established the original molten condition of 
the earth, and going very far back into the remote and pri- 
mitive periods of the earth's geological history, we may find 
glimpses of the cause of those tremendous deluges, of which 
geological phenomena afford such striking evidence,* and by 

* The deluges here alluded to arc quite distinct from those which have so fre- 
quently, during various periods of the earth's geological history, swept over 
vast portions of its surface, and of whose tremendous violence we have such 
clear evidence, in the denudation of the hardest rocks, the debris of which has 
yielded the material of nearly every sedimentary formation, from the period of 
the old red sandstone formation upwards. 

These vast and often repeated deluges I consider to have resulted from mighty 
incursions of the ocean, over vast continents, till then forming the dry portion of 
the earth's surface, hut which (hy the retreat of the earth's substance from be- 
low, resulting from the progressive contraction, consequent on the gradual 
cooling of the sub-surface matter) must have again and again permitted ex- 
tensive portions of the solid cru6t of the earth to suddenly crush down, like an 

Remarks on the Planets Jupiter and Saturn. 343 

whose peculiar dissolving and disintegrating action on the 
igneous formations which at that early period of the earth's 
history must have formed the only material of its crust, and 
may in that respect obtain some insight into the source 
whence the material which formed the first sedimentary strata 
was derived. If we only carry our minds back to that early 
period of the earth's geological history, where the tempera- 
ture of its surface was so high as that no water in its fluid 
form could rest upon it, and follow its condition from such 
non-oceanic state to that period at which, by reason of the 
comparatively cooled-down condition of its surface, it began 
to be visited by partial and transient descents of the ocean, 
which had till then existed only in the form of a vast vapour 
envelope to the earth, we shall find in such considerations, 
not only the most sublime subject of reflection, in reference 
to the primitive condition of our globe, but also, as it ap- 
pears to me, a very legitimate basis on which to rest our 
speculations in regard to the probable present condition of 
Jupiter and Saturn, — both of which great planets, I strongly 
incline to consider for the reasons before stated, are yet in 

over-loaded ill-supported floor, and so permit the ocean to rush in with fearful 
violence, and occupy the place of the so submerged continent. 

Judging from the facts which geological phenomena yield us in abundance, 
these incursions of the ocean must have been sudden, violent, and of frequent 

The sudden sinking down of a continent to the extent of 1000 feet in depth, 
would be but an insignificant adjustment of the crust of the earth, to the re- 
treating or contracting interior, as compared to the actual diameter of the 
earth (being only about one four-thousandth part of its diameter), but yet such 
a subsidence occurring to any portion of a continent near the sea, would occa- 
sion a rush of waters over its surface, amply sufficient to perform all the feats 
of violence and denudation (of the occurrence and action of which we have 
most palpable evidence), which have taken place during many successive pe- 
riods of the earth's geological history, not only in the vast accumulations of 
debris, caused by these violent incursions of the ocean, but also in the prodi- 
gious dislocations of strata, which have resulted from the crushing down of the 
crust of the earth, in its attempts to follow down and fill up the void or hollow 
spaces caused by the contracting and retreating nucleus, which as before said, 
I consider to be the true cause of this class of deluges, the tremendous violence 
of which has yielded the old red sandstone, and all other sandstones, conglo- 
merates, boulders, gravel, sand, and clay. 

344 Remarks on the Planets Jupiter and Saturn. 

so hot a condition, as not only not to permit of the permanent 
descent of their oceanic matter, but to cause such to exist 
suspended as a vast vapour envelope, subject to incessant 
disturbances by reason of the abortive attempts which such 
vapour envelope may make in temporary and partial descents 
upon the hissing-hot surface of the planet. 

Recurring again to this early period of the earth's geolo- 
gical history, when it was surrounded with a vast envelope 
of vapour, consisting of all the water which now forms the 
ocean. The exterior portion of this vapour envelope must, 
by reason of the radiation of its heat into space, have been 
continually descending in the form of deluges of hot water 
upon the red-hot surface of the earth. Such an action as 
this must have produced atmospheric commotions of the most 
fearful character : and towards the latter days of this state 
of things, when considerable portions of what was after- 
wards to form our ocean came down in torrents of water 
upon the then thin solid crust of the earth, the sudden con- 
traction which such transient visits of the ocean must have 
produced on the crust of the earth would be followed by tre- 
mendous contortions of its surface, and belchings forth of 
the yet molten matter from beneath, such as yield legitimate 
material for the imagination, and the most sublime subject 
for reflection. The extraordinary contortions and confusion 
which characterise the more primitive sedimentary strata, 
such as the gneiss, schist, and mica slate, in so very remark- 
able a degree, shadow forth the state of things which must 
have existed during that period, when the ocean held a very 
disputed residence on the surface of the earth. 

Could the earth have been viewed at this era of its geolo- 
gical history from such a distance as the planet Mars, I doubt 
not it would have yielded an aspect in no respect very dissi- 
milar to that which we now observe in the case of Jupiter : 
namely, that while the actual body of the earth would have 
been hid by the vast vapour envelope then surrounding it, 
the tremendous convulsions going on within this veil would 
have been indicated by streaks and disruptions on the sur- 
face, which would be mottled over with markings such as we 
observe in the case of the entire surface of Jupiter : and by 

Remarks on the Planets Jupiter and Saturn. 345 

reason of the belchings forth of the monstrous volcanoes 
which at that period must have been so tremendously active 
on the earth, the vapour envelope would be most probably 
marked here and there with just such dingy and black-and- 
white patches, as form such remarkable features about the 
equatorial region of Jupiter — probably the result of volcanic 
matter, such as ashes, &c. — which the volcanoes about his 
equator may from time to time vomit forth, and send so far 
up into the cloudy atmosphere as to appear on the exterior, 
and so cause those remarkable features which so often mani- 
fest themselves on the outward surface of his vapour enve- 
lope ; for I doubt if we have ever yet seen the body of Jupi- 
ter, which will probably remain veiled from mortal eyes for 
countless ages to come, or until he be so cooled down as to 
permit of a permanent residence on his surface, of his ocean, 
that is to be. 

In applying these views to Saturn, it occurs to me that we 
may obtain some glimpses into the nature of those causes 
which have induced, and are now apparently inducing, those 
changes in respect to the aspect of his rings, which have, 
more especially of late, attracted so much attention. If 
Saturn also be so hot, that his future ocean is suspended as 
a vast vapour envelope around him, it is possible, I conceive, 
that some portion of this vapour may migrate, by reason of 
the peculiar electrical conditions which it is probable his rings 
may be in, in respect to the body of the planet ; and that 
such migration of vapour in an intensely frozen state, as it 
must be in such situation, may not only appear from time to 
time, as the present phantom ring does, but also encrust the 
inner portion of the interior old ring with such vast coatings 
of hoar-frost as to cause the remarkable whiteness which so 
peculiarly distinguishes that portion of his rings. In fact, 
such are the extraordinary phenomena presented by this 
planet, that one is led to hazard a conjecture or two on the 
subject ; and, I trust, such as I have now the pleasure to oifer 
may meet with a kind reception from the Royal Astronomical 

13th January 1853. 

346 Beep Sea Soundings. 

Captcain H. Denham, F.R.S., on Deep Sea Soundings 

obtained in lat 36° 49' #., long. 37.°6 W. 
The following extracts from a letter received from Captain 
H. M. Denham, dated H.M.S. Herald, 29th of November 
1852, Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, give the results of 
some interesting experiments on the depth and temperature 
of the sea in the South Atlantic Ocean. The position, it will 
be seen, is in about the parallel of the mouth of the river 
Plata, and about half way between the American continent 
and Tristan d'Acunha. We have recorded similar experi- 
ments of Captain Sir James Ross, Sir Edward Belcher, and 
Captain E. Barnett. This, however, is far beyond any of 

The following are references to our volumes for accounts 
of deep soundings : 

1840— pp. 347, 507, Sir James Ross, 2426, 27° 4' S., 17° 
5' W. ; 2677, 33° 3' S., 9° V E. 

1843— p. 796, Sir E. Belcher, 3065, 0° 4' N., 10° 6' W. ; 
1620, 4° 2' S., 9° 6' W. 

1849— p. 121, Captain Barnett, 41° 2' N., 44° 3' W. ; 3700 
attempted, broke for want of more by effects of current. 
1850 — p. 699, American soundings, East of Bermuda. 
1851— p. 275, Lieut. Gouldsborough, U.S.N., 3100, 28° 3' 
S., 29° 3' W. ; p. 433, Commander J. Adams, from a New 
York paper, but un authenticated by any other document we 
have seen, deepest being 5500 fathoms, in 32° 1' N., 44° 8' W. 
H.M.S. Herald, as follows (7706 fathoms), obtained in 
lat. 36° 49' S., long. 37° 6' W., on her exploring voyage to the 
South Seas, under the command of Captain H. M. Denham, 
RR.S. 30th October 1852. 

The following is the extract of the letter referred to : — 
" We reached the lat. of 36° 49' S„ and long. 37° 6' W., on 
the 30th of October, when the fineness of the weather per- 
mitted me to employ the 15,000 fathoms of sounding line 
which Commodore M'Keever, of the United States Navy, had 
very generously presented to me, and we had the gratification 
of obtaining the (I believe) unprecedented sounding of 7706 
fathoms, equal to 8J English miles, the particulars of which 
I have tabulated as enclosed. 

Deep Sea Soundings. 347 

" Such was the apparent increase of the magnetic variation 
as we proceeded eastward, on the parallel of 37° S., that the 
effecting a landing on Tristan d'Acunha to test the actual 
amount, free from any local disturbances of the ship, appeared 
to me an essential step. Availing myself, therefore, of the 
tranquil state of the weather, on the day of sighting it (12th 
November), I effected a landing on the island, with the ne- 
cessary instruments for settling the longitude, as well as the 
variation of the compass, and the shore data at once confirmed 
what had been indicated afloat, viz., that the variation has 
doubled in amount since 1813, being now in that vicinity 20° 
4' W., instead of 9° 51' W. 

" I took the opportunity of another calm day to ascertain 
the temperature of the sea at 900 and at 1000 fathoms. At 
both depths it proved the same, viz., 40° of Fahrenheit, whilst 
near the surface it was 58°. At the same time I employed 
means for tracing the depth to which the sun's rays pene- 
trated, and found it to be 66 feet." 

As we considered the foregoing statement would have been 
imperfect unless accompanied by particulars of this interest- 
ing proceeding, contained in Captain Denham's letter to the 
Hydrographer, Sir Francis Beaufort, it is with much satis- 
faction that with his permission we are enabled to add to it 
the following extract : — 

" I must not omit, even in this, to allude to the generous 
offering to our expedition of 15,000 fathoms of sounding line 
by Commodore M'Keever, of the United States Navy, whose 
broad pendant was flying on board the Congress frigate at 
Rio. He was not content with presenting me with books, 
&c, but having observed that he had something in our wag, 
sent me, the day before he sailed, 10,000 fathoms on one reel, 
and 5000 on another, of most admirably adapted line for ex- 
perimenting in deep deep-sea casts. Without compunction 
as to ships' stores, I determined to hazard the 10,000 fathoms 
(beautifully laid up, or grafted into one length) the very first 
opportunity ; and we as assuredly did get to the bottom at 
7706 fathoms, as not actually bringing up a sample can per- 
mit me to say, for I and Lieut. Hutchison, in separate boats, 
with our own hands, drew the plummet up 50 fathoms several 

348 Deep Sea Soundings. 

times, and after it had renewed its descent with the same 
velocity it had^done during the last hundred fathoms, it landed 
on each occasion abruptly to the original mark to a fathom, 
and would not take a turn more off the reel. By its parting 
at 140 fathoms from the surface, we lost a Six's thermometer, 
which I had bent on at 3000 fathoms. With the remainder 
of the line I have obtained some 500' s, when our own lines 
could not have been employed to that extent ; and on two 
occasions between Tristan d'Acunha and this (Cape of Good 
Hope), I obtained 900 and 1500 fathoms with thermometers 
attached, saving them each time, and shewing that 40° is the 
minimum temperature after 200, where it averages 50 and 
52, no matter what the surface temperature may be. 1 have 
still 5000 fathoms to play upon, before reeling up spunyarn 
again, which from our junk I had done to the length of 8 
miles before I had the present." 

We have no doubt the worthy Commodore will be much 
gratified with this disposal of his line. We need scarcely 
assure him that such generous marks of friendly feeling can- 
not fail to be appreciated, and particularly so when it is con- 
sidered that he was giving away the means by which he him- 
self might have gained the credit of finding the greatest depth 
of the ocean yet attained. But noble minds are above such 
personalities. The bottom was reached, and that was suffi- 

We shall leave our readers to form their own conclusions 
on the experiment, as to the up and down depth, as a seaman 
would say. But we may add, that although the experiment 
was made in a favourable part of the South Atlantic Ocean, 
we cannot suppose it possible that the ship would remain for 
the nine hours during which it lasted in a vertical position 
immediately over the lead, although nothing is said by Cap- 
tain Denham as to the direction in which the line grows as 
the ship drifts while the operation is going forward, nor 
whether the boats and the ship were separated by the effect 
of any current. We by no means impugn the statement that 
bottom was reached when 8-J- statute miles were out. but 
should like to know whether or not some deduction should be 
made for drift, and what that should be, before an up and 
down depth can be asserted. — Ed. N. M. 


A Table shewing the Bate at which the 9 lb. Plummet (11/5 by 
1*7 inches) descended with a Line ofl-\§th of an inch dia- 
meter (and weighing, when dry. 1 lb. per 100 fathoms), 
through a depth of nearly 9 English miles of Ocean Water » 
at which depth it apparently reached the bottom. 

Interval Interval 

Interval Interval 



"§ 100 

*$ 1000 




*$ 1000 








m. s. 






. s. 


m. s. 








— — 





4000 Fms. 









100 Fms. 





4100 ... 





200 ... 





4200 ... 





300 ... 





4300 ... 






400 . . . 





4400 ... 





500 ... 





4500 ... 





600 ... 




4600 ... 





7C0 ... 




4700 ... 





800 ... 





4800 ... 





900 ... 





4900 ... 





1000 ... 






5000 ... 









1100 ... 






5100 ... 





1200 ... 





5200 ... 




1300 ... 





5300 ... 





1400 ... 





5400 ... 





1500 ... 





5500 ... 





1600 ... 




5600 ... 






1700 ... 





5700 ... 





1800 ... 




5800 ... 





1900 ... 





5900 ... 





2000 ... 







6000 ... 







2100 ... 




6100 ... 






2200 ... 





6200 ... 





2300 ... 




6300 . . . 





2400 ... 





6400 ... 





2500 ... 





6500 ... 




2600 ... 





6600 ... 





2700 ... 




6700 ... 





2800 ... 





6800 ... 





2900 ... 





6900 ... 





3000 ... 







7000 . . . 








3100 ... 





7100 ... 




3200 ... 




7200 ... 






3300 ... 





7300 ... 





3400 ... 






7400 ... 




30 1 

3500 ... 






7500 ... 





3600 ... 






7600 ... j 





3700 ... 






7700 ... 




8 : 




3800 ... 







3900 ... 







Total Interval, i 


24 45 

Total fathoms, 7706 = 15,412 yards = 8| English miles. 

Note. — This line could sustain 72 lb. in air, at a suspension of one fathom ; 
but as the 7706 fathoms weighed 77 lb. (in addition to the plummet) became 
weighted one-half more by saturation (equal to 115 lb.), it could not bring up the 
plummet again to exhibit to us the nature of the bottom ; it broke, whilst carefully 
reeling it in, at 140 fathoms below the water line. 

H. M. DEKHAM, Captain, R.N. 
VOL. LIV. NO, CVIII.— APRIL 1853. 2 A 

350 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

Astronomical Observations made with Airy's Zenith Sector , 
from 1842 to 1850, in the determination of the Latitudes 
of various Trigonometrical Stations used in the Ordnance 
Survey of the British Isles. Edited by Captain Yolland, 
R.E., under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis A. 
Hall, Royal Engineers, Superintendent of the Ordnance 
Survey, and published by order of the Master-General 
and Board of Ordnance. 

This is a ponderous quarto volume containing 52 pages of 
letterpress, and 1009 pages of figures and numerical results, 
as a contribution towards an exact knowledge of the latitudes 
of twenty-six stations on the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain. 
It will doubtless be very favourably received by the scien- 
tific public, and is an excellent specimen of the searching 
manner in, and practical skill with, which this great opera- 
tion is now being carried on ; while persons in general will 
see, from the voluminous extent to which the observations 
and calculations in this one department have neeessarity 
expanded, — how essential it is that the whole should be 
conducted by the Imperial Government. 

As the attention of persons in our neighbourhood has lately 
been attracted almost wholly to questions of the best scale 
for the maps of the survey, we may as well remind them, that 
to make a sensibly perfect map of the whole country on any of 
the scales proposed, two descriptions of operations are neces- 
sary; one consisting of terrestrial determinations of distances 
in feet and inches by means of measured base lines and trian- 
gles : the other, of astronomical observations, in terms of lati- 
tude and longitude, to fix the part of the globe wherein the 
surveyed may be situated ;* and to furnish, by being compared 

* It used to be objected against the old one-inch maps of the Ordnance Sur- 
vey, that however accurately the fields and villages might be laid down there- 
on, there was nothing to shew in what part of the world the places might be 
situated ; i. e. f there were no markings of latitude and longitude on the sides 
of the sheet, as had from the first been introduced in the government maps of 
France. With their usual readiness to meet all the rational requirements of 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 351 

with the linear result, and with similar operations in other 
parts of the world, certain coefficients, relativeto the size 
and shape of the earth, and necessary to be employed in all 
the calculations of the base lines and triangles of the terres- 
trial measure. 

Of these coefficients, the most important is the quantity of 
compression of the earth, which is derived with the greatest 
accuracy by comparing together measured lengths of the meri- 
dian in different latitudes ; and the practical operation consists 
in each country in determining astronomically the differences 
of latitude of two stations, and then from their measured 
distance asunder in feet, and their bearing the one from 
the other, ascertaining the angular space between them on 
the meridian, as viewed from near* the centre of the earth, 
and so deducing as it is popularly termed, the length of a 
degree of the meridian. 

Of the two proceedings, the terrestrial admits of being 
performed with far greater accuracy than the astronomical. 
Thus the length of 60 miles, for example, as calculated from 
the carefully measured base lines and angles of the Ord- 
nance Survey, may be determined with certainty to consider- 
ably under one foot ; and this will be equivalent to one-hun- 

the public, the omission has been supplied by the English officers in the recent 
maps on the six-inch scale ; though to insert the points to such exactness that 
they may be depended on to the full extent of the terrestrial accuracy of the 
paper will be shewn presently to be a far more difficult matter than the ob- 
jectors were probably aware of. 

* From near to, not at, the centre of the earth, by reason of the spheroidal 
character of its figure ; which causes the direction of gravity in various parts 
of the surface to point, not to one and the same internal spot, but to the locus 
of a curve depending on the amount of compression ; and thus it is that as we 
travel from the equator toward the Poles, the radius of curvature and the length 
of a degree on the surface increase, while the distance from the centre decreases. 
Hence may arise two different modes of reckoning Latitude, one by a practical 
astronomical operation on the surface; and the other by a theoretic reference to 
the centre of the world, and is deduced by calculation from the former, combined 
with a knowledge of the ellipticity. This theoretic, or as it is called Geocen- 
tric Latitude, is proper to be employed in certain astronomical calculations ; 
but the former is that which is more generally used, and known as "Latitude," 
and will be alone considered in the course of this notice. 

352 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

dredth only of a second of a degree of latitude. But the astro- 
nomical determination, on the other hand, even with the best 
existing instruments and methods yet invented by man, can 
hardly be brought within several tenths of a second ; so 
great are the practical difficulties which beset the subject. 

All possible means and appliances should therefore be em- 
ployed, and even exhausted, in improving the accuracy of the 
astronomical determinations of the latitudes of the terminal 
points; and these when once well known, allow of the latitudes 
of any and all the other points in the country being computed 
from the terrestrial measurement with equal accuracy, and 
of being duly inserted in the margin of the maps. Not 
only, therefore, our knowledge of the compression of the 
earth depends on these terminal points, but also the latitudes 
of every place in the country, and the indications of every 
single sheet of the thousands of which the survey consists. 
The lines of latitude and longitude extending over a coun- 
try are in fact an astronomical network, all the lines of which 
are obtained by computation from, and hinge on, the two or 
three stations, at which alone it has been possible to get the 
long and troublesome series of astronomical observations 
well performed. With any errors in the so determined posi- 
tions of those spots, every other in the whole length and 
breadth of the land are out also ; and a greater uncertainty 
still is introduced into the results for the size and shape of 
the earth ; which again reacts prejudicially on the correctness 
of the formula employed in the calculations of all the triangles 
of the terrestrial portion of the survey. Hence the devotion 
of 1000 pages of closely-printed figures to the observations 
for determining the astronomical latitudes of a very limited 
number of places in the country. 

Were perfect observation possible, two stations would have 
been enough in Great Britian, one in the extreme south, and 
the other in the extreme north. But as such a comfortable 
state of things can exist nowhere under the sun, the whole 
meridian length has been divided into several parts, and there 
are meridian lengths also taken on either side of the king- 
dom, so as to have as many separate results as possible ; 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 353 

and moreover, at each intended station, observations have 
been made at several spots round about it, so as practically 
to ascertain whether there be any local attraction in the 
neighbourhood that might prejudice the results. 

In this way the number of stations observed, has been 
increased to 26, extending from Saint Agnes in the Scilly 
Islands, in 49° 53', to Saxavord in North Shetland, in 60° 49' 
N. lat. 

The first step in this inquiry was, of course, to get a good 
astronomical instrument, and the zenith sector made by 
Ramsden for the Ordnance having been destroyed in the fire 
at the Tower in 1840, application was made to the Astrono- 
mer Royal, G. B. Airy, Esq., to furnish a design for a new 
one, with any improvements he could suggest. 

The result of this was the instrument employed, wherein the 
following capital improvements were introduced over all other 
previous zenith sectors — 1st, the whole being made of metal, 
and in large pieces with few adjustments ; 2d, A double 
graduated arc, or readings, and with micrometer microscopes, 
at either end of the telescope, which turned on an axis in the 
middle of its length ; 3c?, Levels were employed for the zero 
point in place of the old plumblines ; and 4cth, The whole ar- 
rangement was such as to admit of the double observations, 
face E. and face W., being made at the same transit. 

The length of the telescope was 46 inches, the diameter of 
the object-glass 375 inches ; the magnifying power usually 
employed 70 ; and the weight of the whole instrument, 10 cwt. 

This was screened from the weather by a portable wooden 
building, covered with canvass, and having an observing slit 
in the roof, and weighing 23 cwt. 

From 1842 to 1844 the observations were made by com- 
missioned officers, Captains Hornby, and DriscollGosset,R.E., 
but subsequently, when the modus operandi was well settled, 
they were made and computed by non-commissioned officers, 
under charge of Captain Yolland, R.E. 

On the average, 800 observations of stars were taken at 
each station, and each observation is given in the body of the 
work, nearly as read off from the instrument itself, with all 
the necessary elements for its reduction, and the principal 

354 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

steps of the redaction performed, are also given, up to the 
complete result for latitude by each observation. 

In the subsequent part of the work, these quantities are 
collated together, and special corrections applied for certain 
instrumental peculiarities explained in the Introduction, and 
for errors of assumed declination of the stars observed, which 
being 491 in number, and confined between the parallels of 38° 
and 68° N. decl., necessarily included many small stars whose 
places had not previously been well fixed by any astronomer. 

In the concluding part of the Introduction, the final results 
are considered, and being compared with the geodetical calcu- 
lations, when the stations are but a few miles apart, some 
most startling conclusions are arrived at ; shewing that the 
latitudes of places are affected by many more causes than 
most men's philosophy has hitherto taken account of. For 
while the probable error of the astronomical determinations 
is hardly so much as =£="•{?, their differences from the geodeti- 
cal, are often ten to twenty times as great : nay, in one in- 
stance, amount to the immense quantity of 9"*48. 

The number of discordances is at the same time no less 
remarkable than their individual amount ; and amongst the 
twenty-six stations observed are found all the following in- 
stances : — 

Lat. Lat. Discordance* 

St Agnes, . 

49 53 and 

Goonhilly Down, 

50 2 


Southampton, . 

50 54 ... 

Boniface Down, 

50 36 

+ 1-23 

... . • . 

Week Down, . 

50 36 

+ 1-45 

... ... ■ 

Dunnose, . 

50 37 

+ 3-71 

... • • • • 

Port Valley, . 

50 39 

+ 0-42 

... ... • 

Black Down, . 

50 41 


Hungry Hill, . 

51 41 .'." 


51 55 


Forth Mountain, 

52 56 ... 

Precelly, . 

51 56 

+ 0-60 


54 17 ... 

Lough Foyle, . 

55 2 

+ 3-20 

Ben Heynish, . 

56 27 ... 

Ben Lomond, . 

56 11 

+ 3-71 

Cowhythe, . 

57 41 ... 

Great Stirling, 

57 27 


North Bona, 

59 7 ... 


58 21 


... • 

59 7 ... 

Ben Hutich, . 

58 32 

+ 3-87 


60 44 ... 

Saxavord, . . 

60 49 


The — sign shewing that the geodetical is less than the 
astronomical amplitude. 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 355 

" What great events do flow from little things," says an 
old comic writer, but the few numbers above are a veritable 
Pandora's box of trouble, likely to make every surveyor and 
geodesist throughout the earth to tremble, when considering 
the consequences which must certainly follow. That "nothing 
was given to man without great labour," was a proverb in 
the time of the Romans, and if true in ordinary matters, how 
much more pointed and impressive does it become when push-? 
ing scientific affairs to the utmost attainable degree of accu- 
racy. To determine the latitude of a place to 30" is easy 
enough; to 15", is not difficult; but to 1", the difficulty is 
increased a thousand fold, nay, every property of Nature and 
of matter seem to combine to prevent our discovering this 
secret of the world. With a proposed accuracy of 1", still 
more if 0"-l or 0" 01 be insisted on, an account must be 
taken, and an explanation rendered of the above discord- 
ances, preparatory to any hope of their being eliminated 
from the determinations for latitude. 

It is easy to attribute the discrepances to " local attrac- 
tion,'' but that is merely giving the difficulty a name ; and 
the question still remains as to how a numerical correction 
can be obtained. It is by no means the first time that such 
a disturbing cause has been suspected, but previously obser- 
vations have been conducted at so few stations, or have been 
liable to such great uncertainties from error of observer 
and instrument, that little attention has been paid to the 
allegation. Actual mountains have however been generally al- 
lowed to possess a sensible influence in this way ; and then the 
observing places have usually been picked out at the greatest 
practicable distance from such questionable neighbours. 

Such, we conclude, were the precautions taken with the 
ordnance stations ; and certainly they are more numerous, 
and better and more uniformly observed, we believe, than 
any previous set that can be brought to bear on this ques- 
tion. The probable error of observation is here so small as 
for the time to disappear ; and yet there are discordances of 
a greater amount than ever before known, and therefore 
plainly and surely attributable to local attraction, whatever 
that may be. The accusation, in fact, against mother earth 
is fully proved, and must be proceeded with, 

856 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

Now this abnormal attraction can be only that of gravitation, 
which depends solely on weight ; as, for instance, a pound of 
gold, a pound of stone, and a pound of ice. placed at equal 
distances from each other, will act each on the other with 
precisely similar gravitating forces. If therefore the weight 
and distance of a mountain be known, its effect on the plumb- 
line can be computed ; and the first question is, whether the 
observed deviations can be completely explained by such visible 
and tangible excrescences on the surface of the earth, or 
whether they be owing to some heterogeneous construction 
beneath it? If the former be the case, the elimination is 
comparatively easy but laborious, for the mountain can in 
time be measured ; there it is ; but in the latter case, where 
is it, i.e., the attracting body, or bodies V 

At one of their trigonometrical points in Peru, the savants 
of Louis XIV. found an attraction in the mass of the Andes 
to the amount of 7" : and more recently Mr Maclear found 
the attraction of Table Mountain equal to 3", and that of 
Piket Berg equal to 2", at the stations employed by a former 
measurer of an arc of the meridian in South Africa. In his 
own determinations therefore, Mr Maclear left the sheltered 
valleys around the foot of a mountain, and preferred all 
the inconveniences of placing his instrument on the exposed 
summit : for there, having the mountain beneath his feet, 
its attraction acted, — in so far as its mass was uniformly 
disposed about its culminating point, — in the direction of that 
of the earth, and therefore could produce no deviation from 
the vertical. 

But in England and Scotland, there are no mountain ranges 
like the Andes ; nay, in the neighbourhood of the survey ter- 
minal stations, there are no masses comparable to TableMoun- 
tain or to Piket Berg ; and yet the effects of local attraction 
at many of the stations are greater than were observed in 
the actual neighbourhood of those giant ranges. The known 
configuration of the surface of the dry land therefore will not 
explain completely all the difficulties, nor will any probable 
shape that may be given to the land under the neighbouring 

Magnetic and electric affinities, it need hardly be observed, 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 357 

are altogether powerless here ; and so we are driven to the 
only remaining hypothesis, viz., vast caverns underneath the 
surface of the earth in certain spots ; or, perhaps, immense 
masses of rock or metal of much less, and in other places, of 
much greater density and specific gravity, than the neigh- 
bouring material. But whether holes or masses, or veins or 
dikes, they must be something mighty in size, and by no 
means very distant, to produce such great, but at the same 
time, irregular, effects. 

These discordances too appearing so very generally in the case 
before us, and acting of course on the longitude as well as 
the latitude, must render uncertain the astronomical elements 
of position of all places yet observed, by any instruments, in 
other countries as well as this ; for in no place has any cor- 
rection for local attraction, under as well as above the sur- 
face, ever been applied, or indeed obtained, or attempted. 
The multitudinous measures necessary for the purpose are 
still to be made. 

Hitherto men have fancied, or at least appear by their 
conduct, with the slight exception already noticed, to have 
laid the flattering unction to their souls, that to determine 
the true astronomical position of a spot, they had merely to 
improve their instruments, and multiply their observations 
of the stars. But now it is shewn that there is another cause 
at work, which the above proceedings do not touch. In fact, 
even if we had a perfect astronomical instrument, and if 
angels were to observe with it, still the results would be in 
error by the full amount of the " local attraction ;" and that 
may be far too large to be passed quietly by. 

Our public observatories will not be affected by the anomaly, 
so far as their researches in cosmical astronomy are con- 
cerned; it will only be of importance in geographical as- 
tronomy. But it will both greatly affect all existing 
measures of arcs of the meridian, and greatly trouble the 
mapmakers. How, for example, shall they draw the parallels 
of latitude through Great Stirling and Cowhythe, when there 
exists an anomaly there of 9"-5, equal to one inch on the 
6-inch-to-a-mile maps ; and as yet there is nothing to 
shew on which side of either place, or whereabouts in the 

358 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

country the seat of disturbance, and its maximum effect, 
may be ! 

In fact, notwithstanding what the French have been in the 
habit of doing with their maps, and what the croakers com- 
plained of the Government not doing here, science is not 
far advanced enough to be able to insert the astronomical 
latitudes and longitudes with sensible accuracy on large 
sized maps. If, then, we see parallels of latitude represented 
by simple straight lines, we may be certain that they are 
wrong, i. e. t they do not represent what a perfect astrono- 
mical instrument would shew at one place, or a terrestrial 
measure give at another, and this, too, by a quantity that 
would permit any amateur, with small observing means, to 
detect apparently gross errors in the National Survey. 

The volume, therefore, published by the Ordnance, opens 
a new and most important and difficult question, rather than 
it settles the latitudes of the trigonometrical stations. 
Further steps must, consequently, be taken in the research ; 
and means must be found of reducing, in all cases, what we 
may term the apparent) to the true astronomical latitude and 
longitude. The present book is an exceedingly good one as far 
as it goes, and it is not the fault of the authors that the case to 
be investigated has proved more difficult than had been antici- 
pated, by reason of the influence of occult natural causes ; 
nor is it at all to their discredit, if haply with the rapidly 
advancing improvements in astronomical instruments and me- 
thods, some more perfect instrument still to that which they 
employed, may now be contrived. Their work is a great ad- 
vance on all that has previously proceeded out of their office, 
and we must particularly admire the honesty with which all 
the original observations are given, together with the elements 
for their reduction, so that any person may verify the com- 
putations ; a method of publication, the example for which 
was mainly set by the present Astronomer Royal; and who ap- 
pears to have advised all the proceedings in the present case. 

The men who have satisfactorily carried on the work thus 
far are doubtless the best to continue its prosecution, and we 
hope will do so, and have full means afforded them for fol- 
lowing it out, through all its ramifications. Meanwhile the 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 359 

perusal of their record of the past, would seem to suggest, — 
if we rightly understand the numerous circumstances therein 
detailed, — the propriety of a few remarks for the future, 
something as follows : — 
First, — Of the instrument. 

The one in question, though a great advance on all previous 
zenith sectors, still was a zenith sector, and was affected by 
some of their natural errors, — errors which have driven them 
out of all astronomical observatories, and have occasioned in 
this example, the necessity of applying a very ugly and rather 
arbitrary correction to all the results, depending on the ex- 
pansion of the arc by being squeezed out under the vertical 
pressure of the pivot screw at the top of the instrument; which 
screw at each station was turned different quantities to make 
more or less squeezing, according to the judgment or memory 
of the observer. The horizontal axis of the telescope, more- 
over, was very short, and being unbalanced, tended to wear 
unequally ; while the levels, being all on one side of the ver- 
tical axis, would all be similarly affected by centrifugal mo- 
tion in turning the instrument round, and might all, there- 
fore, shew too great or too small a reading, by the amount of 
the retardation of the bubble by friction. 

We should be inclined, indeed, in the present day, to re- 
form sectors and levels altogether, by having a transit circle, 
and obtaining the zero point with the collimating eyepiece. 

A single observation at each meridian transit, would then 
give a complete result, and with much greater ease and pro- 
bable accuracy, than when two observations have to be taken, 
and a large instrument reversed and reset all in a few seconds, 
with the stars, too, already beginning to describe downward 
paths, by reason of their distance from the meridian. 

The prime-vertical transit instrument, has become a 
favourite for these purposes on the Continent ; but although 
it may give very concordant and apparently accurate results, 
yet in the shape in which it is there manufactured, it must 
be liable to so much flexure, and in a vital direction to the 
integrity of the observations, that their absolute accuracy 
may be always doubted. 

In the form of the ordinary transit, i. e., with a double axis, 

360 Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 

it may do better ; though there is even then great doubt if 
the level ever can be ascertained as exactly as it should be ; 
and after all, eacli observation occupies so very great a length 
of time, as to admit of but very few being taken during a 
night ; and those may be so seriously interfered with by the 
abundant clouds of this climate, that a practical man may 
well prefer a graduated circle in the Meridian. 

Second, — Of the mode of observing, and reducing the ob- 

Each observation before us is made to give an independent 
latitude, and this is therefore loaded, not only with the in- 
strumental errors in measuring the zenith distances, but also 
with the tabular errors of the star's declination, and what is 
much more uncertain, its proper motion. The prejudicial 
consequence of this appears in the columns on the right hand 
pages giving the observed zenith distances and the computed 
latitudes, in which latter the discordances are often double 
the amount of the former. 

Uncertainties of refraction are certainly mixed up in the 
latitude results ; but as the zenith distance is always small, 
there can never be any notable effect from that cause ; yet 
we should like, in any future work, to see a discussion of the 
value of the constant of refraction ; for it would doubtless be 
found to vary at the different altitudes above the sea, and in 
the contrasting physical circumstances of the several stations. 

The greater part, then, of the increase of the discordances 
amongst the latitudes over the zenith distances, must rest 
with errors in the assumed values of the places and proper 
motions of the stars of comparison ; and an easy way of 
remedying this difficulty is to have two instruments : keeping 
one always at a standard station, and having the same stars 
observed at the same times, with the stationary and with the 
travelling instrument : a method much practised by Mr Mac- 
lear in his excellent repetition of the South African arc. 

Thirdly, we may observe, that while we should prefer, at 
the beginning of the volume, to see entered the very identical 
numbers read off from the instrument, without, as here, being 
reduced from divisions of the micrometer to seconds of space ; 
we should also like to see at the close, some investigation 

Ordnance Survey Astronomical Observations. 361 

into the probable errors of the final results. These numbers 
are given to hundredths of a second, but when we examine the 
components, and find one star giving a result many whole 
seconds from another, and all the southern stars having a per- 
verse discordance to all the northern ones, we evidently 
cannot depend for certain on the last hundredth. To within 
how many hundredths of a second, then, can we depend =tz 1 
What is the real breadth of the foundation on which we 
can securely build a superstructure of theory and inference, 
free from the effects of error of observation ? 

This quantity should be obtained with observations for lati- 
tude and for longitude also, wherever there may exist so per- 
fect a means as the electric telegraph for communicating 
time between two stations. The next step will then be to de- 
termine in each case the configuration of the neighbouring 
ground, by careful contouring (a superb mode, by the way, 
of settling the levels of a country for engineering and other 
operations, though discountenanced by the late Committee 
of the House of Commons) : and with the size of the hillocks 
so ascertained, and with the nearest approach that can be 
made to a knowledge of their specific gravity, their attrac- 
tion may be computed. 

Then according to the character of the residual quantity, 
obtained by applying the computed to the observed attrac- 
tion, deduced by comparison of one with many stations, — 
further astronomical observations should be instituted at 
various places, until all the sources of local attraction, and 
the means of computing their effects for all distances, shall 
have been discovered. 

So far for the elimination of the disturbing effects of the 
attraction of the mountainous masses. But that having been 
ascertained sufficiently well for practical purposes ; it is hoped 
that then the important scientific and physical result of the 
weight of the world will occupy the attention of the survey- 
ing department. So long a time has occurred since Dr 
Maskelyne tried the great experiment on Mount Schehallion, 
that much advantage might result from repeating his mea- 
sures again, both terrestrial and astronomical, with improved 
means : especially adding observations for longitude as well 
as for latitude ; and so observing on four sides of the moun- 

302 Notes on the Scales of the 

tain. But inasmuch as the geologic construction of Sche- 
hallion is very heterogeneous and uncertain, it might be 
better to search out some hill of more uniform constitution ; 
and such, according to the experienced testimony of Pro- 
fessor Jameson, may be met with amongst the mountains of 
Sutherland, some of which are of quartz from top to bottom. 

C. P. S. 

Notes on the Scales of the Government Survey of Scotland. 

The scales upon which the Government Survey of Scotland 
should be engraved and published, having naturally excited 
great interest, and given rise to much diversity of opinion, 
we have endeavoured to collect some precise information as 
to the progress, up to the present time, which has been made 
in this great National work, and the special purposes for 
which it is designed. 

The Government, or, as it is called, the Ordnance Survey 
of England and Wales, had, up to the year 1824, been pub- 
lished on the scale of one inch to the mile ; and the whole 
country, with the exception of the six northern counties, was 
finished upon this scale, and has given great satisfaction to 
the country, as we learn, from the evidence of several eminent 
civil engineers, and geologists, to whom it has been found of 
great value in many important works upon w T hich they have 
been engaged. But in the year 1824-j the whole surveying 
force of the Ordnance was transferred to Ireland, and as the 
survey there was designed to form the basis of a general va- 
luation of the country, for which the scale of one inch to a 
mile was much too small, the Government directed, after a 
very mature consideration of the subject, that the scale of the 
county maps of Ireland should be on the scale of six inches 
to a mile, and that the large towns should be drawn on the 
scale of sixty inches to a mile, and that a general map on 
the scale of one inch to the mile, like that of England, should 
be prepared by reducing the six-inch maps to that scale. 
These orders were consequently carried into effect, and the 
whole kingdom has been engraved and published on the six- 
inch scale, and the one-inch general map is now in progress, 

Government Survey of Scotland. 363 

On the completion of the survey of Ireland in 1845, that 
of England was resumed, and that of Scotland commenc- 
ed, and in consequence of the very great advantages 
which the survey of Ireland had conferred on that country 
beyond the special object for which it was designed, the Go- 
vernment decided that, in the progress of the survey of Great 
Britain, the same series of maps should be published, as 
had been in Ireland — and in consequence the counties of 
Yorkshire and Lancashire, Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbright- 
shire, Edinburghshire, and Haddingtonshire, have been drawn, 
and the first four counties completely engraved on the six- 
inch scale, whilst the survey is proceeding in Durham and 
Fife. We also learn that the primary triangulation of the 
whole United Kingdom is now complete, and the measure- 
ment of the arc of the meridian, from Dunnose in the Isle 
of Wight, to Balta in the Shetland Islands, is in course of 

The progress of the survey of Scotland, which was neces- 
sarily slow in consequence of the small sums granted for the 
service, having created much dissatisfaction, and many emi- 
nent persons having expressed an opinion that a survey on 
the scale of six inches to a mile was not required for Scot- 
land, a Committee of the House of Commons was appointed 
in 1851 to report upon this subject. 

The report of this Committee, and the evidence of the nu- 
merous witnesses examined, contains much valuable and de- 
tailed information, but much diversity of opinion between 
the several witnesses ; Sir R. Murchison, Lord Monteagle, 
Mr Stephenson, Mr Locke, and Mr Brunei, being of opinion 
that the one-inch scale, like that of the southern counties of 
England, was all that was required for Scotland ; whilst, on 
the other hand, Mr Griffiths, under whom the valuation of 
the whole of Ireland was conducted, and Sir John Macneill, 
the engineer to the Railway Commissioners of Ireland, and 
all the Ordnance officers, were of opinion that the scale should 
be six inches to a mile, like that of Ireland. 

The following are the recommendations of the Committee : 

1. That the six-inch scale be abandoned. 

2. That the system of contouring be abandoned. 

364 Notes on the Scales of the 

3. That the survey and plotting on the two-inch scale be 
proceeded with as rapidly as is consistent with accuracy, 
with the view to the publication within ten years of a one- 
inch map, shaded and engraved in a manner similar to the 
Ordnance one-inch map of England. 

Orders in conformity with these recommendations were 
given to the Ordnance officers, and in the summer of last 
year, the survey for the one-inch scale was proceeded with, but 
as soon as this change became known to the public, great dis- 
satisfaction was very generally expressed, and numerous in- 
fluential meetings were held in several counties, in Edinburgh, 
Glasgow, and many of the principal towns, to memorialize 
the Government to proceed with the survey of Scotland as 
as they had begun it. On the receipt of these memorials, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr Disraeli) ordered the 
survey for the one-inch scale to be discontinued, and the 
counties of Haddington and Fife to be surveyed on the six-inch 
scale, and that no other county should be taken up " till this 
important subject shall have received further investigation." 

It is greatly to be regretted that so much time and money 
should have been lost, but it was obviously better to stop the 
work for the small scale at once, than to allow it to proceed, 
and produce dissatisfaction in the country, with the prospect 
of eventually losing more time and money on a work not cal- 
culated to meet the wants of the Government, and the country 
at large. 

Most of the memorials have appeared in the journals of 
the day, but we select that from the gentlemen of Dumfries- 
shire, as expressing what appears to us to be the general 
feeling of the people of Scotland upon this subject. 

" To the Honourable the Lords Commissioners of Her 
Majesty's Treasury, the humble memorial of the Com- 
missioners of Supply of the County of Dumfries, 

" Sheweth, — That the memorialists had under considera- 
tion at their annual meeting held in April last, which was 
numerously attended, the subject of the Ordnance Survey of 
Scotland, when they had occasion to express their regret at 
the delay which has taken place in the prosecution of it; 
and on the motion of Sir William Jardine of Applegarth,. it 

Government Survey of Scotland. 365 

was unanimously resolved to urge the Board of Ordnance to 
proceed with its completion, with as little further delay as 
possible, and that upon a scale of six inches to a mile. 

" This resolution was accordingly communicated to the 
board ; but the memorialists were informed that it rests with 
your Lordships alone to set aside or modify the present ar- 
rangement for completing what remains of the survey on a 
scale of one inch to a mile. 

•' The one-inch scale being considered by the memorialists 
so entirely useless for all practical purposes, the matter was 
again brought forward at their Michaelmas meeting, held on 
5th October last, when (in consequence of the above infor- 
mation) it was resolved, on the motion of his Grace the Duke 
of Buccleuch and Queensberry, to present this memorial to 
your Lordships in support of the early completion of the 
survey of Scotland on the large scale ; at the same time, 
calling attention to the peculiar advantages which a survey 
of the county of Dumfries on this scale would confer, as in 
comparison with one on the reduced scale. 

" The memorialists are humbly of opinion, that six-inch 
maps of the counties of Scotland would be much more useful 
for all public, local, and private purposes, than plans on the 
one-inch scale ; and indeed, that the latter would be even of 
less service than plans already existing ; while the difference 
of cost, having regard to the superior advantages of the large 
plans, would not be so great as to justify a departure from 
the system pursued in the survey of the United Kingdom up 
to a very recent period. 

" The larger maps, with the levels inserted upon them, 
would be highly useful for all purposes connected with engi- 
neering ; the formation of railways, canals, roads ; the con- 
veyance of water to towns ; sewerage ; the reclamation of 
marshes ; and the improvement of waste lands ; the collec- 
tion of correct agricultural, mineral, and other statistics, in- 
cluding a correct census ; the procuring of correct geological 
and hydrographical surveys ; the valuation of property in re- 
ference to sales and to public and parish assessments ; the 
management of estates ; the identification and registration 
of different properties, and in various other ways ; for most 

VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII. — APRIL 1853. 2 B 

360 Notes on the Scales of the 

of which purposes the smaller maps would be of compara- 
tively little use, and for the more important would be of no 
service whatever. 

" The larger map would not merely be valuable for present 
purposes ; as an authentic record of the state of the country, 
and the boundaries of properties, parishes, and counties, it 
would in after ages be regarded with interest, and be found 
of great use in tracing the progress of improvement and the 
changes occurring in the course of time. 

" The memorialists have respectfully to submit that there 
is no valid reason why Scotland should not have the benefit 
of a national survey on the enlarged scale. She contributed 
a proportion of the expense of the survey of the sister coun- 
tries. There are extensive tracts of as wild country in Ireland 
as in Scotland, and upon the utility of surveying the former 
country on the large scale, the argument that large plans of 
such waste grounds were unnecessary was never raised. It 
appears to the memorialists, therefore, that it would be unjust 
to give Scotland inferior maps on the ground of expense* 
Besides, it is of manifest importance, in a national point of 
view, to have uniform connected maps, applicable to the entire 
United Kingdom." 

These memorials would seem to have decided the Govern- 
ment to give to Scotland the benefit of a survey not inferior 
to that of Ireland ; and we see, by a correspondence recently 
published between Sir Charles Trevelyan and Major Larcon, 
H.E., the present Under-secretary for Ireland, to whose 
energy and ability the perfection of the agricultural statistics 
of that country is mainly due, that the question of the best 
scales for the survey of Scotland is still under consideration. 
Major Larcon is asked if the six-inch survey of Ireland has 
fulfilled the objects for which it was designed, and whether, 
if the survey of that country had to be done over again, he 
would propose a larger scale ; to this he replies, that the 
survey has fulfilled all the objects expected from it, and that 
he should recommend the same scale if the work had to be 
gone over again, and recommends that it should be extended 
to the whole of Scotland. Mr Griffiths, to whom these replies 
were communicated, concurs fully in these views, which are 

Government Survey of Scotland. 367 

in accordance with the evidence he gave before the Parlia- 
mentary Committee of 1851. 

We therefore confidently hope that the survey will now 
proceed without further interruption and delays. We have 
seen with great satisfaction that an additional grant of 
£10,000 appears in the Ordnance estimates for this year, 
making the grant for this year £35,000 for the survey of 
Scotland — a sum which will enable the Ordnance officers 
to proceed rapidly in their work, and give employment to a 
numerous body of assistants from our population. E. 

On a Quartziferous Variety of Trachyte, found in Iceland. 
By Theodor Kjerulf, of Christiania. Communicated for 
the Edin. New Phil. Journal. 

Amongst the trachytic formations of Iceland, which appear 
from the investigations of Bunsen to exhibit, along with the 
greatest mineralogical differences, a remarkable chemical 
agreement, and which, in a paper inserted in the twenty- third 
volume of Poggendorff's Annalen, he terms " normal tra- 
chytic," there are some which are characterised by the occur, 
rence of interspersed quartz and rock crystal. These, as well 
as the other trachytes of Iceland, belong to Abich's " tra- 
chytic porphyries," with which they harmonize, not only in 
their chemical comp6sition, but also in the circumstance of 
their assuming, for most part, a porphyritic appearance by 
the interspersion of minute lustrous lamella of felspar. In 
the rocks referred to in the following paper, which belong to 
these formations, these felspar secretions are absent, although 
in them likewise the rock presents a porphyritic appearance, 
from being interspersed with quartz. We might give it the 
appellation of quartziferous trachytic porphyry. The mass 
appears decomposed, almost friable, and in colour varying 
from light green to yellowish red. In similar varieties of 
trachyte, the mass being the same, but quartz being absent, 
there could be distinguished small spicula of iron pyrites, 
which seemed to indicate a subterraneous formation by the 
disengagement of sulphureous vapours from fissures (Fumaro- 
lenwirkung). In tlie present rocks, however, I could not, 

2 b 2 

3G8 M. Theodor Kjerulf on a 

even with the assistance of a lens, detect iron pyrites, with 
anything like certainty, although that variety 2 exhibited 
traces of sulphuric acid and spicula, resembling hydrous oxide 
of iron. 

The materials for the investigations of which the results 
are here communicated, were collected by myself on the spot, 
during a journey to Iceland, in the summer of 1850, and the 
analyses themselves, were conducted according to the method 
followed by Professor Bunsen,and communicated by Dr Streng 
(Bietrag zur Theorie der vulkanischen Gesteinsbildung, Bresl., 
1852.) In the environs of the Baula, a mountain from which 
so much instruction may be derived in regard to the trachyte 
of Iceland, I could not, after the most careful search, discover 
any of the quartziferous rocks. These I have observed only, 
not under the most favourable circumstances for observation, 
at Kalmanstunga in the western, and at Trollakirkja, in the 
northern, parts of the island. At Kalmanstunga, at the de- 
clivity of the mountain which stretches towards Koita, there 
is an alternation of numberless A^arieties of trachyte, com- 
pact, earthy, nodular, breccious ; and it is amongst the frag- 
ments of the latter, that at the declivity in question, the 
quartziferous porphyritic trachyte is found. The contiguous 
rock and the junction of the two are, unfortunately, concealed 
from observation by heaps of rubbish. As far as could be 
recognised, the whole composed a veniform mass (eine stock 
= oder gangformige masse), which might probably extend 
over Tunga to the trachyte cliffs of the Nordlingafljot. It 
should also be mentioned that the trachyte mountain in the 
neighbourhood of the above-mentioned locality, lias been 
broken through by a basaltic mass, which can be recognised 
at a considerable distance by its beautiful columns. The 
second variety subjected to analysis is from the northern dis- 
trict of the island, where the road from Fagranes to the Ska- 
gafjordr leads through the narrow valley of Vidadalr towards 
Grimstungur. Right across the valley, where it stretches in 
a southerly direction, there runs down from the mountain of 
Trollakirkja a vein of quartziferous trachytic porphyry, but 
here likewise the line of junction with the adjoining rock, 
which was a common dark augitic and palagonitic rock dis- 

Quartziferous Variety of Trachyte found in Iceland. 369 

posed in beds, was nowhere to be observed ; even the thickness 
of the vein itself, which seemed to run from 6 to 14 feet, could 
scarcely be determined. A dark green vitreous rock of junc- 
tion (Contactgestein), which is found at the Baula as well as 
almost everywhere else in Iceland, where the trachyte sepa- 
rates from an augitic or tuff rock, was not observed here, but 
may very possibly have been concealed under the loose rubbish, 
which the unfavourable state of the weather unfortunately 
put it out of my power to subject to a very close examination. 

The rock No. 1, is composed of a greenish mass in which 
are imbedded small white globular particles, very distinctly 
separated from the matrix. These globules are either entirely 
filled with a hard white quartzose mass, or else they form a 
globular crust, of which the internal cavity is occupied with 
beautifully transparent points of rock crystals. The rock 
No. 2, appears to be more decomposed than the former ; the 
mass, which is of a light yellow reddish colour, is almost 
friable, and the quartz crystals are found distributed in more 
irregular cavities. On comparing the two varieties, they 
seem to exhibit different phases of the same process of decom- 
position ; the globules disappearing and giving place to cavities, 
as the matrix itself becomes more friable. The reddish 
powder of No. 2, after being digested for a short time in con- 
centrated muriatic acid, totally loses its colour, and becomes 

The composition of these two varieties, as appearing on 
analysis, calculated on the anhydrous substance, is as fol- 
lows : — No. 1 losing 1-847 per cent., and No. 2 losing 1*656 
per cent., by being brought to a red heat. 

No. 1. 

No. 2. 

Silica, .... 






Oxide of iron, 



Lime, .... 




Protoxide of manganese, 







Soda, .... 



98-951 100-879 

370 M. Theodor Kjerulf on a 

Or, to afford readier means of comparison with the compo- 
sition of normal trachyte, it may be calculated at 100, and 
with protoxide of iron, as follows: — 

Normal Trachyte 
Silica, .... 76-67 

Alumina, . 

Protoxide of iroi 






;. No. 1. 

' No. 2. 


















100-00 100-00 100-00 

Thus we have very nearly the composition of normal tra- 
chyte, — the proportion of silica being somewhat larger, espe- 
cially in the variety in which decomposition has proceeded 

In order to check the analysis, I endeavoured, with No. 2, 
which presented most facility for the purpose, to ascertain 
the per centage of quartz crystals. A certain quantity, after 
being weighed, was gently crushed, and water being after- 
wards poured over it, the light supernatant particles of the 
mass were removed, and the residuum dried and strongly 
heated : the quartz crystals, which could then be easily dis- 
tinguished, were separated mechanically from the small red- 
dish fragments of trachyte, and from a few particles of white 
quartz. The result was 2*9, or 3 per cent. In this experi- 
ment, which was very carefully performed, I cannot imagine 
that there was room for an error of more than one per cent, 
loss at the utmost, so that the proportion of quartz cannot 
possibly exceed 4 per cent. 

The question now arises, whether this excess of silica has 
been conveyed into the rock by infiltration, or whether it has 
proceeded from a partial elimination of its basic constituents. 
The answer to this question is, geognostically, of some in- 
terest. If we take as our basis the composition of normal 
trachyte,- — and from the local relations of the porphyritic 
varieties with other trachytic rocks at Kalmanstunga, it 
seems exceedingly probable that the former have been formed 
from the latter. We are able, either on the one hand, upon 

Quartziferous Variety of Trachyte found in Iceland. 371 

the supposition of an infiltration of silica into what was ori- 
ginally a mass of normal trachyte ; or, on the other hand, 
upon the supposition of a partial elimination of the bases, to 
arrive by calculation, at compositions nearly identical with 
No. 2. For, if to 5 portions of normal trachyte we assume 
the infiltration of 1 portion of silica, the composition 3 will 
be the result; and we obtain the composition 4, if, of 8 por- 
tions of undecomposed trachyte, 2 portions undergo altera- 
tion in such a manner as that their contained bases are, by 
the action of volcanic vapours (Fumarolenth'atigkeit), elimi- 
nated in the form of sulphuric salts, — their silica at same 
time remaining : — 

No. 3. 

No. 4. 

No. 5. 





Alumina and protoxide of iron, 




Lime, .... 








Alkalies, . 




100-00 100-00 ,100-00 

Thus, it might seem as if the question were incapable of 
solution. But the alternative is really decided by the obser- 
vation, that in No. 2 there is contained not more than 3 — 4 
per cent, of free silica. In the calculated composition 3, in 
which 1 portion of quartz becomes added to 5 portions of nor- 
mal trachyte, there would be required, not 3 or 4 per cent., 
but no less than 1666 per cent, of free silicic acid. Where, 
again, (in 4) 0'2 of the whole mass is conceived, to have been 
decomposed in the above manner, there remains just 3 per 
cent, of free silicic acid, which might very readily appear in 
the form of quartz and rock-crystal. Farther, if No. 2 had 
arisen under the influence of a process of infiltration, the re- 
sult of its composition must, after subtracting the 3 per cent, 
quartz, have been identical with that of normal trachyte. 
Such a calculation, however, gives as its result, not the com- 
position of normal trachyte, but one containing a larger 
amount of silica (5). 

If, then, an elimination of bases have actually taken place 
in 1 and 2, it may be anticipated that this process will not 
have extended in a precisely similar degree to the whole con- 

For 1. 

For 2. 









372 Quartziferous Variety of Trachyte found in Iceland. 

stituents. Now this inequality will actually appear, if we 
calculate the composition of normal trachyte and that of the 
varieties 1 and 2, without reference to the silica, for like 
quantities of one of the bases, e. g., the alumina : — 

For Normal 

Alumina and protoxide of iron, 100-00 

Lime, . . . . 10-11 

Magnesia, . . . . 1*81 

Alkalies, .... 52-88 

For these reasons, as well as from the external appear- 
ance of the rock, which of itself indicates the operation of 
volcanic gases (Fumarolenwirkung), I think we are entitled 
to conclude that the quartz, which we so unexpectedly find in 
this trachyte, is derived, not from the infiltration, but from 
the secretion of silica. Almost everywhere in Iceland, where 
trachytes occur, I have observed amongst them compact and 
earthy varieties, resembling the fumerolle clay, frequently 
along with spicula of iron pyrites, — as near the Baula, at the 
Indridastadir, near Skorradalsvatn, at the Illvidrishnukr, in 
the northern district of the island, not far from where variety 
2 is found. The analysis of the trachyte of Langarfjall, 
at the Geisir, which continues to be decomposed by the influ- 
ence of fumerolles, exhibits a similar elimination of bases, 
especially a striking diminution of the alkalies. It is not im- 
probable that, whilst the silica secreted in 2, in the course of 
the partial decomposition, remained in the rock ; of the liber- 
ated bases, the alkalies, and about half the alumina, were 
eliminated in the form of alum, the other half of the alumina, 
together with the whole lime and magnesia, being eliminated 
in the form of sulphuric salts.* 

* Liebig's Annalen der Chemie, &c, vol. lxxxv., part 3. 


Biography of the celebrated Naturalist, Baron Leopold von 
Buch. Communicated for the Philosophical Journal. 

Berlin, March 6. — Leopold von Buch is dead. He expired 
on the 4th instant, at two o'clock afternoon, after a short 
illness. The once so active pedestrian, who even in his old 
age used, when on geological excursions, by the extraordinary 
amount of fatigue which he underwent, to put many a junior 
to the blush, had of late been exhibiting, physically although 
not intellectually, distinct signs of advancing age. In him 
Germany loses not merely one of the most famous of her 
literati, but one of those rare and extraordinary men on whom 
the world, with its gifts and external distinctions, has nothing 
in its power to bestow. Leopold von Buch was totally ab- 
sorbed in his science — in the most unselfish efforts after the 
attainment of truth. One must have seen and known him in 
order to be able to comprehend the strength of his character 
— a character which, from that very quality — especially in 
such an atmosphere as Berlin — could not fail to be distin- 
guished by some oddities. 

Buch was born, not, as has been commonly stated, in 1777, 
but on the 26th of April 1774, and was a contemporary stu- 
dent with Alexander von Humboldt in the Mining Academy 
of Freiberg. Of all Werner's pupils it is he who has contri- 
buted the most to the progress of geology, and who can be 
most aptly compared with the Comte de Saussure, whom he 
not merely equalled in the comprehensiveness of his minera- 
logical and physical knowledge, in acuteness, in talent for 
observation, and in unwearied zeal, but also resembled in 
another respect : already in the possession of a fortune equal 
to his wants, he gave himself wholly to science, without the 
least reference to personal advantage, or its application to the 
practical purposes of life. 

In the year 1797 he published a little work under the title 
of " An Attempt at a Mineralogical Description of Landeck in 
Silesia" (Versuch einer mineralogischen Beschreibung von 
Landeck), which was a perfect model of clear and simple ex- 
position, and of concise and perspicuous description. In the 

374 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

same year lie quitted the north of Germany, different portions 
of which he had already examined, of course under the influ- 
ence of those neptunistic views which he had imbibed from 
Werner, and directed his footsteps to the Alps, of which he 
may, in a scientific point of view, be regarded as the Columbus. 

In examining the district of Salzburg, so rich in natural 
beauties and in striking geognostic phenomena, he enjoyed 
the congenial companionship of Humboldt. Of this profitable 
intercourse there remains an imperishable monument in the 
description of Salzburg, which may be regarded as a model 
of description of great mountain regions. 

In the spring of 1798 he instituted the first careful inquiry 
into the central alpine chain through the Tyrol ; and from 
thence, after long impediments, arising from the continuous 
wars of the French Republic, he succeeded in February 1799 
in reaching Naples. Here he directed his attention to the 
study of Mount Vesuvius, and it was the phenomena of this 
volcano that first awakened doubts in his mind with regard 
to the soundness of Werner's doctrines. An old Neapolitan 
still boasts with delight of having been the guide of Buch 
and Humboldt through the lava ruins. 

But it was not until the year 1805 that Buch had an oppor- 
tunity, in company of Humboldt and Gay-Lussac, of witness- 
ing a great eruption. He then found himself enabled to cor- 
rect a number of erroneous views, hitherto generally enter- 
tained, with regard to the activity and products of volcanoes. 
His mind had been prepared for the subject by a previous 
journey through the south of France. In the year 1802 he 
had examined the extinct volcanoes in the district of Auvergne, 
and discovered that the volcanoes break out from the granite ; 
but, cautious inquirer as he was, he did not consider this as 
sufficient to overthrow the Wernerian theory. Recognizing 
the extraordinary scientific importance of a remarkable phe- 
nomenon, he was too cautious to make it the basis of a 
universal law ; and it was not until after more extended in- 
quiry, and the accumulation of new facts, that he allowed 
himself to assign a similar mode of origin to the German 
basalts. The fruit of his inquiries appeared in his " Geognos- 
tical observations during travels through Germany and 

Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 375 

Italy" (Geognostische Beobachtungen auf Reisen durch 
Deutschland und Italien), 1802-1809. 

Two full years— from 1806 to 1808 — were passed by him 
in Scandinavia, where he found, to his extreme surprise, that 
granite, which had hitherto, in conformity with the views of 
Werner, been regarded as indubitably a primary rock, was to 
be met with betwixt younger formations. He was the first 
to ascertain the fact that the whole continental part of Sweden 
is undergoing a continuous but very slow upheaval. On his 
return home he passed through Lapland (" Travels through 
Norway and Lapland," — Reise durch Norwegen, &c, 1810). 

In company with the Norwegian botanist Smith, who after- 
wards met his death in the unlucky English expedition to 
Congo, he made arrangements in England, which he had 
embraced this opportunity of visiting, for a voyage of disco- 
very to the Canary Islands. In April 1815 the two naturalists 
landed in Madeira, and Buch was not long in recognising an 
axiom of the utmost weight for the theory of volcanoes, 
namely, that as the whole Canary Islands are collectively the 
work of a volcanic action on its grandest scale, so the other 
islands of the ocean had a similar origin, and the groups of 
islands of the South Sea are the remains of a pre-existing 
continent. The volcanoes on the earth's surface are for the 
most part collected in series that frequently stand in certain 
relations to each other, and result from immense fissures 
through which subterranean forces effected a passage for 
themselves. These fissures follow the direction of promon- 
tories. The Lipari Islands, Etna, Iceland, the Azores, the 
Canaries, are to be regarded as central volcanoes. The con- 
tradistinction of craters of elevation and craters of eruption, 
which afforded a peculiar explanation of very interesting vol- 
canic phenomena, met with determined opposition, and one 
of the strongest opponents was Buch's own principal scholar 
— whose early death was a severe loss to science — the justly 
regretted Hofmann, who, in the course of his travels through 
Sicily, had the good fortune, when at Sciacca, to be able to 
observe the origin of a small volcanic island. The " Physical 
Description of the Canary Islands" (Physische Beschreibung 
der Canariochen Inseln), has now become exceedingly rare. 

376 Biography of Baron Leopold von Buck. 

Buch, during his stay in the British Islands, made minute 
observations upon the Hebrides, and the Giant's Causeway 
in the county of Antrim ; and afterwards, in the Alps, he 
directed his attention to the study of porphyries. His ex- 
planation of dolomite has lately met with much and partly 
well-grounded opposition. How conscientiously he pursued 
his labours may be perceived from the circumstance that in 
his old age he made a second journey to Norway, in order to 
observe some facts bearing upon the transition of primary 

The essential aim of Buclfs labours had always been to 
invest the science of geology with a universal and organic 
character, by comprehending all its elements in one vast 
whole — the geognostic and physical relations of the earth's 
surface, temperature, soil, plants : at a later period of his 
life he enriched it by a profound study of petrifactions. He 
gave a direction to palaeontology, by means of which it became 
possible to draw from the remains of an extinct animal crea- 
tion the most important conclusions with regard to the process 
of formation of the earth's crust. This merit will remain, 
even though geology may resume the path of chemical analysis. 
But Germany may be especially proud of the very excellent 
geological map which she owes to the illustrious deceased ; 
and when his miscellaneous writings, and particularly those 
minor compositions which are now lying scattered through 
the Transactions of academies, become, by being collected — 
as no doubt they will be — accessible to the general reader, 
the noble language and scientific method by which every line 
that Buch wrote was distinguished, will become duly appre- 
ciated. In a work on Volcanoes which is now passing through 
the press, Alexander von Humboldt has unconsciously erected 
a worthy monument to his illustrious friend. 





Mean of 24 






M ! 

ft- 1 
os i 

d - 1 






Ol s 























-1 1 oo 

© 2 CM 

So | ^ 








i— 1 
rt CM 


1 CM 

.5 os 

g o* 

^ | CM 





I— 1 





1 © 



t © > 

cS to 







































































© t* 

© .© 

g o 






I • 











; c 
















[ o 



1 .a 

CO » 
© > CM 

go 1 












c* 2 

§ o 

g 6 

1 w 













43 £> 




OT © 05 

.13 ^o^ 

«+-( ^ —i 

o =! ^3 

B W 18 

© o 

^ « © 

° ^ a 

H 3 ° 

^ ^ G 

© ,© s 

cc? cc ^ 


O eg 


c3 •"• 

P-l OT 


o 3 

© >, 

-g -h 


. 03 

-2 13 

S e 
© "-< 

p ,r—l 
© t^- 

■s -" 

a .5 

bD cs 



^ "73 

© 5 

•-5 P-( 




o s 


« ^ 

.9 a 


is © 

c3 ^ 

H3 >> 






=3 l„ 

fl <x) 


5 rG 



© £ 

s J 

o *43 

S * 

X cc 





o> o 




G S 





Sh © 

© ,_rj 


^ bo 


T— t 

•73 o 


2 2 

1X3 a> 


.3 S 



^ ee 


o © 

© *5 




G «*-< 


I § 






G-i 3 
« OT 

G © 


fe ° 

• G 


© XI 


© S-" 

> -*> 


+* «% 



H3 c^ 


G "5 


2. O 



d 1 
n 1 

G ^T 


© C3 



S3 S=M 

1 U 


© o 



-G 00 


S3 © 


© S 

x 45 





378 On the Reduction in the Height of Waves 

On the Reduction in the Height of Waves after Passing into 
Harbours. In a Letter to Professor Jameson. By 
Thomas Stevenson, Esq., Civil Engineer. 

Edinburgh, 84 George Street, 
16th March 1853. 

Dear Sir, — In your number for October last I gave an 
approximate formula for the law of increase in the height of 
waves due to their distance from the windward shore; and I 
have now to trouble you with another formula relating to the 
subject of harbours. 

The great object of constructing harbours is, by lowering 
the height of the waves to preserve the tranquillity of the 
area of water which is included by the piers, and this pro- 
perty is variously possessed by harbours of dhTerent forms, 
and depends much upon the shape of the entrance and the 
relation between the direction of its opening and that of the 
line of maximum exposure. It may here be observed, that 
when there is an inner harbour, or stilling basin, the ellipti- 
cal form seems to me the most promising. If one focus be 
supposed to be on the middle line of the entrance, and to 
coincide with the point from which the waves radiate, as 
from a centre, when they expand into the interior of the 
harbour ; and if the other focus is situated inland of high- 
water mark, the waves will all tend to reassemble at the 
landward focus, and on their way will be destroyed by 
breaking on the beach. For it is a well-known property of 
the ellipse, that, if two radii vectores be drawn from the two 
foci to any point in the curve, they will make equal angles 
with the tangent at that point, and as the angles of incidence 
and reflection of a wave from any obstacle are practically 
equal, each wave will obviously be concentrated at the focus 
opposite to that from which it emanated. 

Irrespective of the considerations mentioned above, the 
reductive power of a harbour will be dependent on the rela- 
tion between the breadth and depth of the entrance, and the 
form and capacity of the area within. Where the piers are 
high enough to screen the inner area from the wind, where 

after Passing into Harbours. 379 

the depth is uniform and the quay walls are vertical, the 
following formula may be tried for cases in which D is not 
less than 50 feet : — - 

H = height in feet of waves in the open sea. 
x = reduced height of waves in feet at place of observation in 

the interior of the harbour. 
b = breadth of entrance to harbour in feet. 
B = breadth of harbour at place of observation in feet. 
D = distance from mouth of harbour to place of observation 
in feet. 

I B 50 B \ ; J 

This formula I have found to give good approximations at 
several harbours where the heights of the waves were regis- 
tered. When H is assumed as unity, x will represent the 
reductive power of the harbour. — I am, yours faithfully, 

Thomas Stevenson. 

Professor Jameson. 



1. Extent of Glaciers in the Polar Regions. — On every side of 
the southern pole, on every meridian of the great South Sea, the 
seaman meets icebergs. Not so in the north. In the 360° of longi- 
tude, which intersects the parallel of 70° north (about which paral- 
lel the coasts of America, Europe, and Asia, will be found to lie), 
icebergs are only found over an extent of some 50° of longitude, and 
this is immediately in and about Greenland and Baffin's Bay. In 
fact, for 1375 miles of longitude we have icebergs, and then for 7635 
geographical miles none are met with. This interesting fact is, in 
my opinion, most cheering, and points strongly to the possibility that 
no extensive land exists about our northern pole, — a supposition which 
is borne out by the fact, that the vast ice-fields off Spitzbergen shew 
no symptoms of ever having been in contact with sand or gravel. Of 
course, the more firmly we can bring ourselves to believe in the ex- 
istence of an ocean-road leading to Behring's Straits, the better heart 

3S0 Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 

we shall feel in searching the various tortuous channels, and different 
islands with which, doubtless, Franklin's route has been beset. It 
Mas not, therefore, without deep interest that I passed the boundary 
which nature had set in the west to the existence of icebergs, and 
endeavoured to form a correct idea of the cause of such a phenome- 
non. — {Osborne's Arctic Journal, p. 94.) 

2. Faroe Islands. — Sir Walter C. Trevelyan to Professor Jameson, 
— 2bth February 1853. My Dear Sir, As you have sometimes 
thought notices from the Faroe Islands of sufficient interest to insert 
in your Journal, I now send you an extract from a letter I lately 
received, which you may, perhaps, like to publish in your next 

"Faroe Islands, 
24th December 1852. 

" Turnips have been too little used here, but if the potato disease 
continues, and it has been worse this season, I am sure they will be 
more cultivated. As the potatoes failed, the inhabitants would have 
been badly off, but abundance ' of whales' (Delphinus Tursio) hav- 
ing been caught last season, in some way made up for the loss. 
More than 2000 whales were killed in different places. In one har- 
bour (Westmanhavn) we take them in a large net, in which more 
than 300 have been caught at one time. The net is made of ropes, 
200 fathoms long and ten fathoms deep, it is of sufficient strength, 
but the whales sometimes escape under it. 

" From the year 1819 to 1843, there were killed in Westmanhavn 
not more than 280 whales, although many shoals of them visited the 
harbour every year, in some years more than 1000. From June 1, 
1843, when the net was first used, up to this time, we have caught 
2200 in Westmanhavn alone. Each whale being valued at an 
average to produce thirty gallons of oil, makes the value gained to 
be about £4000, besides the flesh, which furnishes abundance of 
wholesome food." 


3. Numerical List of Species of Animals. — Of the number of dis- 
tinct specific forms of animals at present existing upon the earth's sur- 
face, it is scarcely possible to form even an approximate estimate : since, 
although we may be probably not far wrong in our calculation of the 
number of existing species, in certain classes which have been espe- 
cially studied (such as those of mammals and birds), and of which by 
far the greater part are certainly known to us ; it is at least equally 
probable that our present acquaintance is limited (from various 
causes) to a very small proportion of other classes, whose total 
amount, therefore, we can do little more than guess at. The num- 
ber of species of mammals known to naturalists is about 1700 ; and 
it is probable that scarcely 300 more remain to be discovered. Of 

Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 381 

birds, about 8000 species are certainly known ; and to these we may 
perhaps add 4000 for those not yet discovered, or not yet clearly dis- 
tinguished. Of reptiles, about 1200 species are known ; but it is 
probable that the proportion not yet discovered is larger, and that 
for this we should add at least 800 species. Of fishes about 8000 
species are known ; and to these, also, numerous additions may be 
expected, probably at least 4000 species. Thus of verteb rated ani- 
mals alone, nearly 19,000 species are known, and 9000 more are 
probably in existence. The number of mollusks has been hitherto 
reckoned chiefly by that of the shells contained in collections, no ac- 
count being taken of any but the testaceous species. Of these about 
15,000 species have been collected ; and probably at least as many 
more yet t unknown to the conchologist. But the number of " naked'' 
or shell-less mollusks is undoubtedly extremely large ; and of these 
it is probable that only a small proportion are yet known.* The 
class of insects far outnumbers all the preceding, both as to number 
of species already known, and still more as to the number of whose 
existence we have presumptive evidence. It is certain that at least 
150,000 species are at present to be found in collections; and that 
these do not by any means include the total number existing even in 
the countries whose entomology has been best explored. So little, in 
fact, is this the case, that if anything like the same proportion holds 
good elsewhere between flowering plants and insects, as obtains in 
our own country (namely at least ten species of insects to every species 
of flowering plant), we should have to estimate the total number of 
existing species of insects at little less than two millions. In regard 
to none of the inferior classes, have we at present adequate means of 
forming any estimate whatever. — (Carpenter's Principles of General 
and Comparative Physiology, p. 239.) 

4. Dr Hamilton on the Guano Birds of the Lobos Islands.— 
Along the sea-coast of Peru and Bolivia, within the tropic of Capri- 
corn, countless numbers of aquatic fowls exist which live on fish, 
and whose excretions are exceedingly fertilizing. In some localities, 
the number of guanas is enormous, so that when alarmed by discharges 
of fire-arms, or otherwise, they rise from their resting-places in such 
masses as cannot be supposed by those who have never seen these 
birds darkening the air like a cloud. Guano producers change their 
habitation when continuously disturbed, but they do not permanently 
leave a locality which has long been frequented by them in conse- 
quence of a temporary alarm ; for, in such a case, they soon return 
to their old haunts, and totally abandon them only when teased by 

* Thus, of the tribe of Nudibranchiate Gasteropods, only about a dozen species 
were formerly known as inhabiting the coast of Britain ; but in the beautiful 
monograph of Messrs Alder and Hancock (in course of publication by the Ray 
Society), more than a hundred species will be described. 

VOL. LIV. NO. CV'III. — APRIL 1853. 2 C 

382 Scientific Intelligence — Zoology. 

lasting annoyances. The ocean on the west coast of South America, 
within the tropics, teems with fish, the quantity seeming exhaustless, 
and guanas equally abound, so that their egesta is gradually accumu- 
lating somewhere either on or off that desert land, and now has 
become an object sought after, not only by the Peruvian mountaineer, 
but by the merchant, shipowner, and statesman. 

5. The Cod Fish of the Whale Fish Islands. — <" We are pre- 
paring," says Mr Snow, in his Journal in the Arctic Seas, M in calling 
at Whale Fish Islands, at which place it was hoped we should be on the 
following day, if the wind continued the same. 

" Our dinner this day was greatly impoved by some cod fish that 
had been caught in the morning, before the wind sprung up. It was 
excellent eating, and I believe the fish is considered of sufficient 
worth and goodness to have a few vessels from Scotland employed in 
catching and importing them. There is one particular place on this 
coast where they are said to be very numerous, and some small ships 
have made it an excellent trade." — (Mr W. Parker Snow's Journal 
in the Arctic Seas, p, 60.) 

6. Electricity applied to the capture of Whales. — The most pro- 
minent features of this new method are thus described : — Every 
whale at the moment of being struck by the harpoon is rendered 
powerless, as by a stroke of lightning ; and, therefore, his subsequent 
escape or loss, except by sinking, is wholly impracticable, and the 
process of lancing and securing him is entirely unattended with dan- 
ger. The arduous labour involved in a long chase in the capture of 
a whale is superseded, and, consequently, the inconvenience and dan- 
ger of the boats losing sight of or becoming separated from the ship is 
avoided. One or two boats only would be required to be lowered at 
a time, and therefore a less number both of officers and seamen than 
heretofore employed would be ample for the purpose of the voyage. 
The electricity is conveyed to the body of the whale from an electro- 
galvanic battery contained in the boat, by means of a metallic wire 
attached to the harpoon, and so arranged as to reconduct the electric 
current from the whale through the sea to the machine. The ma- 
chine itself is simple and compact in construction, enclosed in a strong 
chest weighing about 360 lb., and occupying a space in the boat of 
about 3^ feet long, by 2 feet in width, and the same in height. It 
is capable of throwing into the body of the whale eight tremendous 
strokes of electricity in a second, or 950 strokes in a minute, para- 
lysing, in an instant, the muscles of the whale, and depriving it of 
all power of motion, if not actually of life. — {Year Book of Facts, 
p. 141.) 

7. Preservation of Eggs. — Eggs immersed while fresh in milk 
of lime will keep in it for years, doubtless because the carbonate of 
lime formed by the carbonic acid, evolved from the egg, completely 
stops up the pores of the shell. On pulling down a sacristy in the 

Scientific Intelligence — Botany. 383 

neighbourhood of Lago Maggiore, eggs were found quite fresh, after 
having been surrounded with mortar and enclosed in a wall for 300 
years. — {Hand-Book of Chemistry, vol. vii. of the Cavendish So- 
ciety, p. 116.) 


8. The Genus Nostoc. — Dr Joseph Hooker has read to the 
Linnsean Society a paper on the genus Nostoc of botanists, more 
especially on a species brought by Dr Sutherland from the North 
Pole, during the late expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, 
under Captain Penny. The plant was found in great abundance in 
the ocean, and resembled the Nostoc commune of botanists. It 
was in sufficient quantities to be used as diet ; and Dr Sutherland 
having eaten some of it, pronounced it more agreeable and nutritious 
than the Tripe de Roche. Specimens of this plant had been sent 
to Mr Berkeley ; and, from certain points in structure, he con- 
sidered it a new plant, and referred it provisionally to the genus 
Hormosiphon, under the name of H. arcticus. Dr Hooker also 
gave an account of a species of Nostoc which he had discovered in 
Thibet, and of another in China, which seemed identical with the 
one brought from the North Pole. The Tripe de Roche has lately 
been found in West Canada. — (Year Book of Facts, 1853, p. 223.) 

9. Preservation of Vegetables. — A cask provided with a door 
is three-fourths filled with sorrel, lettuce* endive, chicory (even if 
rancid), or asparagus ; and a piece of rag steeped in sulphur, and 
attached to the end of a wire, is set on fire and introduced through 
the door, the contamination of the vegetables, by the falling down of 
the burnt matter, being prevented by laying a board upon them ; 
the door is then closed, and the cask agitated to accelerate the 
absorption of the sulphurous acid. The sulphuring is twice more 
performed in the same manner, and the vegetables, together with 
the liquid which has oozed from them, are put into stoneware jars, 
which are then merely tied round with parchment and put into a 
cellar. Vegetables thus treated keep well till the April of the fol- 
lowing year. They do not, however, soften so quickly in water as 
fresh vegetables, and must therefore, before boiling, be soaked in cold 
water for some hours (asparagus in April for twenty-four hours). 
During the boiling, which generally does not last longer than with 
fresh vegetables, the sulphurous acid is given off. This method is 
applicable only to tender vegetables, which easily soften in boiling. 
— (Leopold Gmelin's Hand-Book of Chemistry, vol. iii. of the 
Cavendish Society, p. 116.) 


By the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852 (15 and 16 
Vict, cap. 83), it vjas provided, that Transcripts of all 
Patents should be transmitted to the Office of Director of 
Chancery in Scotland to be recorded, where they would be 
open to the inspection of the Public ; but that provision has 
never been complied with. And it is believed that there is a 
Bill now introduced into the House of Lords for the repeal 
of such a provision. 


Adie, Richard, Esq., Six's self-registering thermometer improved 

by, 84. 
Africa, on the basin-like form of, by Sir R. I. Murchison, 52. 
Agassiz, Professor Louis, on the classification of insects from em- 

bryological data, 101. 
Anteater, Cape, account of, by W. T/ Black, Esq., 168. 
Arabs, freedom from leprosy, 188. 
Arctic Natural History, 72. 
Australia, on the condition and prospects of the Aborigines of, by 

W. Westgarth, 36. 

Bailey, Professor J. W., on the microscopical soundings off the At- 
lantic Coast of the United States, 142. 

Bennett, Mrs Anne Ramsden, on meteorological phenomena in con- 
nection with the climate of Berlin, 155, 214. 

Bergmannite, pseudomorphous, an account of, by Professor J. R. 
Blum, 162. 

Berzelius, Biography of, by Professor H. Rose, 1. 

Black, W. T., assistant-surgeon, on the Anteater of the Cape, 168. 

Blum, Professor J. R., on Gieseckite and Bergmannite, 162. 

Buch, Leopold von, biographical notice of, 373. 

Christison, Dr Alexander, on the climate of Rangoon, 179. 

Dr Alexander, on a meteorological register kept at Ran- 
goon, 377. 

Chambers, Robert, Esq., on glacial phenomena in Scotland and parts 
of England, 229. 

Clausius, R., Esq., on the colours of a jet of steam, and of the at- 
mosphere, 166. 

Climate of Berlin, observations on, 214. 

Crawfurd. J. W., Esq., on the Negroes of the Indian Archipelago 
and Pacific Islands, 175. 
VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII.— APRIL 1853. 2 D 

386 Index. 

Corbett, Richard, Esq., on an earthquake felt at Adderley, 180. 
Crystallisation and Amorphism, 183. 

Penham, Captain H., on deep-sea soundings, 346. 

De la Rive, on the diurnal variations of the magnetic needle, 148. 

on the influence of terrestrial magnetism on iron, 206. 

Dinornis, bones and eggs of, 186. 
Donarium identical with Thorium, 183. 

Earthquake at Adderley, by Richard Corbett, Esq., 180. 
Eggs, preservation of, 382. 
Electricity applied to the capture of whales, 582. 
Ellet, Charles, jun., on the application of reservoirs to the improve- 
ment of rivers, 118. 

Faroe Islands, noticed, 380. 
Fish, cod, of the Whale Fish Islands, 382. 
Fishes, domestication of, 187. 

Forbes, Professor Edward, on the geological distribution of marine 
animals, 311. 

Gieseckite, pseudomorphous, described by Professor J. R. Blum, 162. 
Glacial phenomena of Scotland, an account of, by R. Chambers, 

Esq., 229. 
Glaciers, extent of, in the Polar Regions, 379. 
Graphite, a large deposit of, in Glen Strath, Farer, Inverness-shire, 

and at St Johns, New Brunswick, 181. 
Guano birds of the Lobos Islands, 381. 

Kenwood, John, Esq., on a remarkable deposit of tin ore at the 
Providence Mines, near St Ives, Cornwall, 68. 

Hisinger, M. Wilhelm, obituary of, 188. 

Ilorsford, Professor, on the solidification of the rocks of the Florida 
Reefs, and the sources of lime in the growth of corals, 56. 

Ilorsford, Professor E. N., on the relation of the chemical constitu- 
tion of bodies to light, 294. 

on the effect of heat on the perpendicularity of Bunker 

Hill monument, 308. 

Humboldt, Alexander von, remarks on lectures on science to the 
people, by, 110. 

Index. 387 

Insects, on the classification of, by Professor Louis Agassiz, 101* 
Indigo, Dr Penny, on the valuation of, 285 
Iron, native, 183. 

James, Captain, R.E., meteorological observations by, 282. 

Kjerulf, Theodor, on a variety of quartziferous trachyte, 367. 
Leprosy, Arabs exempt from, 188. 

Macgillivray, the late WiUiam, Regius Professor of Natural History, 

Aberdeen, biographical account of, 189. 
Marchand, M. Eugene, on the analyses of snow and rain water, 179. 
Metereological observations, 144. 

Miller, John Fletcher, Esq., meteorological observations by, 46. 
Minerals, paragenetic relations of, 323. 
Murchison, Sir R. I., on the basin-like form of Africa, 52. 

Nasmyth, James, Esq., some remarks by, on the probable present 
condition of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, in reference to 
temperature, 341. 

Negroes of the Indian Archipelago, noticed by J. W. Crawfurd, 175. 

Nostoc, remarks on, 383. 

Obituary of Leopold von Buch, 369. 

Oken, Professor, on popular assemblies for the advancement of 

science, 112. 
Ordnance Survey, astronomical observations on, 350. 

Patent law amendment act, 384. 

Penny, Dr Frederick, on the valuation of indigo, 285. 

Petermann, Augustus, Esq., on the distribution of animals available 

as food in the Arctic Regions, 295. 
Platinum and Iridosmine in California, 182. 

Rangoon, meteorological register of, 377. 

Reservoirs, application of, to the improvement of rivers, 118. 

Rocks, solidification of, in the Florida Reefs, and the sources of lime 

in the growth of corals, 56. 
Rose, Professor H., his biography of Berzelius, 1. 
Rowell, Mr G. A., on the change of temperature in Europe, and 

the variation of the mao-netic needle, 312. 

388 Index. 

Scientific intelligence, 179, 379. 

Scoresby, the Rev. Dr, on the Earl of Rosse's telescopes, 113. 

Silem, Professor, on pseudomorphous minerals, 181. 

Smith, Dr John Alexander, on animal remains found with Roman 

pottery, 122. 
Soundings, microscopical, off the Atlantic Coast of the United 

States, by J. W. Bailey, 142. 
Soundings, deep sea, in the Atlantic Ocean, by Captain Denham,346. 
Species, numerical list of, of animal kingdom, 380. 
Steam, colours of a jet of, by R. Clausius, 166. 
Stevenson, Thomas, Esq., on the gradual decrease of waters as they 

enter harbours, 378. 
Stratification, Wells on the origin of, 291. 
Strontiano-calcite, remarks on, 182. 
Sulphur Mine in Upper Egypt noticed, 182. 
Survey, Government geological, notes on the scales of, 362. 

Tertiary formation, flora of, described, 183. 
Tides, bed, and coasts of the North Sea or German Ocean, 185. 
Tin ore, deposit of, at the Providence Mines, Cornwall, 68. 
Thermometer, Six's self-registering, improved by Richard Adie, 

Esq., 84. 
Thomson, Alexander, Esq., of Banchory, biographical account of the 

late Professor W. Macgillivray by, 189. 

the late Dr Thomas, biography of, 86. 

Trachyte, a quartziferous variety of, found in Iceland, described, 367. 
Trevelyan, Sir Walter C. on the Faroe Islands, 380. 

Vegetables, preservation of, noticed, 383. 

Waves, Stevenson, T., Esq., on the reduction of the height of, 378. 
Wells, D. A., Esq., on the origin of stratification, 
Westgarth, W., Esq., on the conditions and prospects of the Abo- 
rigines of Australia, 36. 

ERRATA in Vol. L 

Page 84, throughout the article on Self-Registering Thermora 



'■■■■■•■'■ ■■'• ■■■-..:'•■ W 1